After losing two weeks ago at Ballard, many of the Colts (3-1) looked to Friday’s game against the Class 5-A Tigers as a chance to make a statement. It wasn’t necessarily for the rest of the state or even the rest of Class 2-A but to themselves.
They made that statement loud and clear early on by getting three turnovers in the first half and using two of them toward building a 20-0 lead on the Tigers.
Gallery | Desales-Fern Creek
“We had to go out there and prove that just because we’re a little 2-A school, it doesn’t mean we can’t compete with the 5-A and 6-A schools,” sophomore quarterback Aaron Pfaadt said.
After Joe Sims picked off a Shamar Bryant pass at the Colts 30 midway through the first quarter, the Colts mounted a seven-play scoring drive capped off by a 1-yard run by Pfaadt. His run gave the Colts a 7-0 lead with 3:03 left in the opening period.
In making his second straight start, Pfaadt completed 7 of 15 passes for 112 yards. The sophomore had two big completions to freshman wide receiver Jordan Watkins for 73 yards, which set up the Colts’ two offensive touchdowns in the first half.
Less than a minute after Pfaadt’s score, the defense would add to that after the Tigers couldn’t hold on to the ball. On the Tigers second play of the ensuing drive, Ashton Baum picked up a fumble in the Fern Creek backfield and returned it 44 yards for another touchdown to give the Colts a 13-0 lead.
“We knew we had to come out and stop them,” said Baum, a junior linebacker. “It was going to be big. They’re a tough running team, nobody’s going to go down easy, so we all got to fly to the ball.”
Fern Creek actually outgained its hosts 259-233, but that was thanks largely to two big plays. The first was an 80-yard run by Devon Blincoe early in the third quarter. That set up his two-yard scoring run on the next play to make it 20-7. The junior running back finished with 124 yards on 14 carries.
However, the Colts countered with a 14-play, 75-yard drive on their next series to make bump the lead back to 20 points midway through the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, Fern Creek used a 69-yard pass from Bryant to Melvin Blakey to set up a Kyree Hawkins 2-yard run to make it a 27-14 game with 10:46 remaining. That was Fern Creek’s only completion in 10 attempts.
After forcing a three-and-out, Fern Creek got the ball back inside DeSales territory and seemed to have momentum, but the Colts forced another fumble as Bryant scrambled on a third-and-8 at the DeSales 28. The Tigers never challenged again after that.
Getting those takeaways was a huge factor, DeSales coach Harold Davis said.
“They had us outsized,” he said. “They surely had more athletes than we did, but that was kind of what we talked about… our defense just flying to the ball and getting a lot of people there.”
Fern Creek coach Josh Abell noted the Colts lack of size, but he added that the hosts came in disciplined, which proved to be a big factor as well.
“They do things the way they’re coached to do, and they do it very efficiently,” he said.