The Third Annual Fairview High Alumni Football Game last Saturday night offered up some amazing moments for Yellow Jacket history. There were great football plays by teammates from across the decades. Plus, high school friendships rekindled, generations of families shared the field for the first time, and strangers united on behalf of their old alma mater, Fairview High School.
The best part was Fairview High alumni celebrated a 34-16 win over East Hickman and advanced their winning record to 3-0 in the alumni series.
Coach Hughes stated, “Words cannot express the love, respect and admiration I feel for everyone (who participated). I am bursting with Fairview Pride! We all had a blast!”
Fairview’s roster was comprised of players from 1982-2020. East Hickman had players returning from 1995 – 2020. East Hickman had the field looking nice and a good crowd was on-hand for the 7 p.m. kick off.
East got the ball first and Jacket linebackers went to work. Hunter Shiver, Garrett Wall and Justin Dowdy were huge stoppers all night and forced East to punt. Fairview started with QB Blake Kelley who pitched the ball to Nic Harvey on a sweep for a 15-yard gain. Fairview drove down field, but came up short.
Taking the ball in their own territory, East’s pass was intercepted by Dillon Jewell, who returned it to 5-yard line for a Jackets’ first and goal. Two plays later, East forced a fumble and recovered the ball, but the Jackets’ defense was stout and held East in check the entire first quarter.
In second quarter action, QB Jacob Baker drove the Jacket offense down the field with a mix of run and pass. On first and goal, Baker faked a hand-off and hit WR Blake Russell on a slant route for the first score of the game. The extra point attempt was unsuccessful, making it 6-0 Jackets.
The Jacket defense bent, but did not break. East drove down field, but LB Justin Dowdy picked off an Eagles’ pass to secure the Jackets’ 6-point lead at halftime.
To start the third quarter, Fairvew Head Coach Chris Hughes stepped in at QB. On the first play, East intercepted a deep pass downfield, and drove 50 yards to score a TD and the conversion. East was up 8-6.
The next drive had catches by several Jacket receivers, and a long catch and run by Nic Harvey set the Jackets up with a first and goal. Hughes hit WR Hunter Branch in the corner of the end zone to take the lead 12-8.
The Eagles offense moved the ball, but big Jacket defensive hits stopped them. Back in control of the ball, Fairview moved it again through the air. Hughes had all-day throwing time as the huge offensive line of Garrett Hall, Mark McKenzie, Logan Biggs, Tim Campbell and Cade Rasmussen kept the defenders back and Hughes’ jersey clean.
Biggs, FHS Class of 2014, responded, “What an honor to block for you, Chris Hughes!”
The screen game putt the Jackets in scoring position again. Another Hughes to Branch pass extended the lead to 18-8. Jacket kicker Christian Suffridge nailed the point after for a 19-8 lead.
Fairview added another score in the fourth quarter when QB Daniel Key had two completions to set the score up from Hughes to Russell. For the conversion, QB Clint Bogle scrambled right to find Fairview High Vice Principal Chris Butler for the score. The crowd went crazy as Butler jumped up and slid down the goal post in celebration. The Jackets extended theri lead to 27-8.
East drove down one more time to score on a Trey Phillps’ run followed by a conversion to tighten the score at 27-16. However, East’s kickoff bounced and landed in the hands of Nic Harvey, who took the ball down the sideline 65 yards for another Jacket score. Suffridge’s extra point ended the scoring at Fairview 34, East Hickman 16.
Garrett Hall, FHS Class of 2000, said, “I got to play alongside some great players from the past and a good friend Mark McKenzie again. Thanks, Coach Chris Hughes, for putting this together every year. I can’t wait for the next one!”
Many in attendance and around the community flooded social media with their thanks to Hughes for organizing the annual event. Mark your calendar for mid-April 2022 and make plans to support Fairview High as the Fourth Annual Alumni Game will be hosted at The Nest.