The Gahanna Lincoln High School football team could not maintain the momentum it built in the opening half, as the Lions were outscored 14-0 after the break and lost 35-24 to visiting Fairfield on Sept 6.
“The third quarter was our downfall,” said Gahanna coach John Snoad, whose team fell to 0-2. “We didn’t execute or tilt the field until late in the game.”
Fairfield quarterback Ryan Nuss passed for 189 yards and three touchdowns, including two on consecutive drives late in the fourth quarter as the Indians improved to 2-0.
After the Lions gained 243 yards and led 24-21 at halftime, Gahanna was limited to just 4 yards on their first five possessions of the second half. They gained 41 yards on their final drive with less than two minutes remaining in the game, but that possession ended with an interception as time ran out.
“We didn’t really make any adjustments at halftime,” Fairfield coach Jason Krause said. “We just told our players it was a two-and-a-half hour drive each way and they just had to have the ‘will’ and the ‘want to’ in the second half. They just had to play harder.”
The teams combined for three turnovers in the first half, and all three were converted into touchdowns.
Gahanna sacked Nuss on the first play from scrimmage forcing a fumble, and running back T. J. Chatman ran for a 6-yard touchdown on the next play to give the Lions a 7-0 lead 18 seconds into the game.
Gahanna also scored on a 38-yard run by Tank Davis and a 2-yard run by quarterback Ronald Robinson in the first half, and Tanner Harding kicked a 20-yard field goal with 13 seconds remaining in the second quarter to put the Lions up at the break.
Robinson finished with 176 yards passing and also ran for 31 yards.
“I felt we were about two plays away from having at least a two-touchdown lead in the first half,” Snoad said. “But it came down to execution.”
Fairfield running back Tyron Harper caught a 37-yard touchdown pass and ran for a 40-yard score in the first half, and Nuss also threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Thompkins.
Nuss was 5-for-7 passing in the second half, including a 9-yard touchdown pass to Thompkins with just over seven minutes left in the fourth quarter give the Indians their first lead at 28-24.
Fairfield then forced a punt on the next Gahanna possession and drove 76 yards on nine plays capped by Zack Smith’s 6-yard touchdown run that gave his team a 35-24 lead with under two minutes remaining.
Tyron Harper carried six times for 79 yards for Fairfield and also caught four passes for 50 yards.
G – Chatman 5 run (Harding kick)
F – Harper 37 pass from Nuss (Nuss kick)
G – Davis 38 run (Harding kick)
F – Harper 40 run (Nuss kick)
G – Robinson 2 run (Harding kick)
F – Thompkins 47 pass from Nuss (Nuss kick)
G – Harding 20 FG
F – Thompkins 9 pass from Nuss (Nuss kick)
F – Smith 6 run (Nuss kick)