Redbirds roll over Panthers, 37-7

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
Metamora’s Brady Fairfield bolts past the Washington defense Friday at Malone Field. Fairfield scored two touchdowns to help the Redbirds win.

Metamora football is back at it and revenge was taken over the Washington Panthers Friday with a 37-7 victory at Malone Field.

After a 35-14 loss in the 2013 season, the Redbirds were able to pull through with a win this year. The big plays accounted for most of Metamora’s points on the board.

“We’re starting to find our identity offensively and it’s also protecting the quarterback. Our ability to throw the ball to a variety of people is really important,” coach Pat Ryan said.

“It’s a little different for us because it’s not usually our thought process, but  I think we are starting to think who we are, but there are still some areas we can get better, for sure, offensively.”

It took just 56 seconds for the first Redbird touchdown. Metamora took the kickoff on the north end and on second-and-10, Brady Fairfield had a 57-yard run to get on Washington’s 4-yard line. 

Tim Brennan took a handoff from quarterback Nick Holman for the rush into the endzone.

Less than a minute later, Washington was forced to punt and Metamora was on the offensive attack again. Brennan rushed for 91 yards for the second TD to extend the lead, 12-0.

Washington was able to strike back on an eight-play, 60-yard drive. The Panther extra point was good and Washington’s scoring was over for the night.

In the second quarter, Metamora had possession with 6 minutes on the clock. Brennan opened with a 32-yard run to get into Panther territory and rushes by Jacob Mitchell, Brennan and Holman got the ball on the Panther’s 22-yard line. Fairfield got the handoff and rushed right, outside of Washington’s defense for the TD. Jalen Armstrong rushed for the two-point conversion, making it 20-7.

Washington was allowed three plays before being forced to punt for the fourth time in the first half.

The Redbirds needed just five plays from their own 31-yard line for another TD. Fairfield had a 22-yard carry to get it on Washington’s 47-yard line. 

“Our pass protection was very good and I thought Nick (Holman) continues to get more comfortable back there,” Ryan said. “As he’s getting comfortable, he’s got the arm to make some plays.”

Bock Modglin moved down the field for the pass and received for a 57-yard TD reception with 2:30 on the clock. For the two-point conversion, Holman threw to Caleb Brachbill to grab the 28-7 lead.

“We’ve been passing and the combination has been perfect right now,” Modglin said. “Whenever I get the opportunity I break loose. We have a strong backfield back there and we have a lot of guys deep, so we’ll be strong.”

Metamora wasn’t done scoring in the first half. Washington’s quarterback Brock Crothers was sacked on third-and-3 to be knocked back to their own 40-yard line. The Panthers set up the punt, but Merritt Stott eyed the kicker and jumped for the block. Stott and Keegan Walker rushed to force the safety when Washington recovered in their own endzone.

In the start of the second half, Washington received but pressure from Walker, Matt Callear and Stott held the Panther drive. Washington had a turnover on downs and a quick three plays from Metamora put in another TD.

Fairfield had a 57-yard reception after the 50 second drive for the last points to be added to the board.

Washington was able to get into Redbird territory twice more before the clock ran out, but the Metamora defense was able to hold to finish the game.

Brennan led Metamora with 129 yards rushing. Holman threw for 155 yards and Fairfield had 86 yards receiving.

“The passing game, the running game, the linemen were blocking well and the defense were getting good stops and we were moving the ball downfield,” Holman said. “The big plays were huge. Just breaking away and we worked all week at it to get the W.”

The Redbirds will face Canton (3-1, 1-1) for Homecoming Friday. 

“It’s week four and there’s a lot of work. We just don’t want this to be the best game we’ll play all season. We’ve got to get better,” Ryan said.