FORT DEFIANCE —Fort Defiance was hoping to celebrate homecoming with its first victory of the season. Early on, it appeared that might happen.
After jumping out with a quick touchdown advantage and then getting a big stop on defense, Fort had the momentum. But a turnover changed all of that as Spotswood rallied for the 42-14 win Friday night at Fort’s Alumni Field.
Fort Defiance coach Dan Rolfe was still proud of his kids though after watching them fall to 0-7.
“They’re great kids,” said Rolfe. “I would adopt each and every single one of them. You wouldn’t know the difference now if we haven’t won a game or if we had won them all. That’s a credit to them and their families. They’ve raised good kids.”
Fort Defiance’s Trenton Campbell (right) makes the stop as he shoves Spotswood’s Adam Dofflemyer out of bounds with the ball during a football game played in Fort Defiance on Friday, October 16, 2015.
The Indians came into the game losers of its first six games, including a heartbreaking 14-12 loss to Broadway three weeks ago. Spotswood was just 1-6 and appeared to be Fort’s best chance at a win this season.
Fort Defiance opened the game with an impressive 83-yard drive, highlighted by a 49-yard pass from Lane McAllister to Seth Carper. Austin Fitzwater then broke off a 44-yard run to put the Indians at the 10 and, after a Spotswood penalty, McAllister scored from the 5.
Fort went for two and, for a moment, it appeared it wouldn’t convert when the ball was fumbled into the end zone, but Carper recovered the ball to give the Indians an 8-0 advantage.
Fort held Spotswood on the ensuing drive and drove into Spotswood territory before turning it over. Brayden Dodson picked up the ball and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. Zachary Polglase found Zachary Myers in the end zone for the two-point conversion and an 8-8 tie late in the first quarter.
Spotswood scored once more in the first half on a six-yard run by Brenden Ritchie and came up a yard short of adding to its lead when time ran out in the second quarter. Still. Spotswood led 14-8 at the break.
The Trailblazers then took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 66 yards for another score when Dodson got in from the 8. After the two-point conversion, Spotswood was in front 22-8 with 6:14 left in the third quarter.
Dodson scored again to open the fourth quarter and the extra point put the Trailblazers up 29-8.
“We started the game off well and kind of had them on their heels,” said Rolfe. “They made a few adjustments. They whipped us up front a little bit. That’s something we’ve got to work on.”
Fort got its first score since that opening drive when Trenton Campbell found Lane McAllister in the end zone for a 25-yard scoring pass. The score cut Spotswood lead to 29-14.
Spotswood ended any thoughts of a Fort rally though with two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
SPOTSWOOD 8 6 8 20 — 42
FORT DEFIANCE 8 0 0 6 — 14
FD — Fitzwater 5 run (Carper run)
SHS — Dodson 43 fumble return (Myers pass from Polglase)
SHS — Ritchie 6 run (kick failed)
SHS — Dodson 8 run (pass for 2)
SHS — Dodson 2 run (DiPaola kick)
FD — McAllister 25 pass from Campbell (pass failed)
SHS — Ritchie 1 run (kick failed)
SHS — Robb 5 run (DiPaola kick)