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Fairfield flexes muscle in BDC showdown against Eldorado

  • Eldorado halfback Clayton Dennis is met by a Fairfield defender as Dennis works his way downfield in the first half Friday night on the road in a Black Diamond Conference showdown.

    Eldorado halfback Clayton Dennis is met by a Fairfield defender as Dennis works his way downfield in the first half Friday night on the road in a Black Diamond Conference showdown.
    SPYDER DANN | mdann@dailyregister.com

 
By Spyder Dann mdann@dailyregister.com
updated: 10/13/2018 1:53 PM

One would have to go back to 2014 to find a Black Diamond Conference regular-season champion not named Fairfield or Eldorado.

That year, Johnston City turned the trick, but for the last four years, two names have been synonymous with the BDC crown and that won't change this year either.

Barring a loss to Sesser-Valier-Waltonville next week, Fairfield racked up its third BDC title in the last six years with a 36-20 win over Eldorado Friday night at the Train Yard.

Fairfield stays perfect on the season at 8-0, while Eldorado, who struggled to get things going offensively in the first half, fall to 6-2 on the season.

Fairfield jumped out to a 20-0 first-half lead, thanks in large part to a bruising running game. The Mules used three different backs as Dylan Heifner took the first score in from three yards out in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Fairfield's Reese lee (five-yard) and Wyatt Gilbert (five-yard) also found the end zone for Fairfield.

The Mules took a 28-0 lead on a Gilbert five-yard run in the third quarter before Eldorado found the end zone as Aiden Whitlock hooked up with Joe Mayberry on a 30-yard pass to make it 28-6.

Playing catchup all night, Eldorado surrendered a 14-yard run to Lee to close out the third, before getting a defensive score when Isaac Burtis recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown and Jacob Etienne made good on a 10-yard run.

"Ya know, (Fairfield) is good," EHS head coach Joe Clark said. "They were better than us (Friday). I wish we could have played better in certain areas but credit to Fairfield. They exposed us in a few areas and we just have to try to continue to work on some of the things that will help us have success against a team like that, that is super talented and who just came out on fire in the first half.

"Games like that you just need to find a way and sometimes it's them making a mistake or you making the play to capture some momentum. We just weren't able to do it in the first half or really the second half for that matter until it got down to the last few moments and it was kind of over at that point."

Fairfield outgained Eldorado 267-140 on the ground, while the Eagles out threw Fairfield 65-42 in the air.

Individually, Fairfield was led by Heifner's 159 yards on 20 carries and one touchdown.

Both Lee and Gilbert had two touchdown's a piece on the night and both ran for 54 yards.

Alec Pruitt was 2-for-4 for 42 yards under center for the Mules, while Heifner caught one pass for 13 yards and Cade Carter caught the other pass for 29 yards.

For Eldorado, they were led on the ground by Etienne's 81 yards on 15 carries and one TD.

Dawson Metten picked up 30 yards on seven carries, while Blakely Watt rushed for 11 yards on two carries. Jace Jenkins had nine yards on seven carries. Clayton Dennis had four yards on three carries, while Joe Mayberry and Ezra Burtis each had three yards on one carry.

Whitlock was 4-for-12 for 65 yards and a score, as Mayberry caught all four passes for 65 yards.

Clark was happy to not see his team give up on the game, despite the outcome and conditions, the second year Eagle coach said he saw some good things from his group.

"We just continue to play play-by-play and snap-by-snap. Circumstances were challenging and our kids just played. Next thing you look up and you have a minute left in a two position game. Maybe you get the onside and craziness happens. You never really realize that until the situation kind of came up. Individually kids just kept plugging away some good things happened down the stretch."

Eldorado will close out the regular season at home Friday against Johnston City. A win against the Indians will still be favorable for the Eagles in terms of hosting a first-round playoff game.

Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois Local Media News Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.