Fairfield's magical season came to a screeching halt at Steel-High on Friday.
The Green Knights, making their second playoff appearance in school history, had their run end with a 53-6 loss to Steel-High in a District 3 Class A semifinal.
The Green Knights turned the ball over five times, including four lost fumbles, and were not able to muster any offense in the second half.
"You can't turn the ball over that many times to any football teams, much less a good one," Fairfield head coach Darwin Seiler said. "Secondly, we played with a short field the second half. You are playing with fire when that happens."
A 27-yard Nick Mort touchdown run with a little more than three minutes to play in the half cut what was a 7-0 Steel-High lead to 7-6. After a penalty on the Rollers, the Green Knights decided to go for the two-point conversion, but quarterback Dalton Carbaugh was stuffed at the 1-yard line.
Mort finished with a team high 62-yards on 17 carries.
Steel-High went into the half with a 7-6 lead amid a cavalcade of boos from the Roller faithful.
Steel-High came out of the half looking like a completely different team. Quarterback James Warren was back under the helm after playing only defense in the first half, and his presence was felt immediately.
Warren scored the Rollers only touchdown of the first half with a 51-yard punt return.
On the second play of the half, Warren scrambled to the left, broke a few tackles, cut up the field and was off to the races for a 79-yard touchdown.
The Warren touchdown seemed to be the spark that Steel-High needed. The Rollers limited Fairfield to -12 yards of offense in the third quarter while increasing their lead to 21-6.
Things went from bad to worse for the Green Knights in the fourth quarter. They had four possessions and fumbled the ball all four times, and Steel-High converted each of them into touchdowns.
Steel-High outscored Fairfield, 48-0, in the second half.
"We had some things we had to take care of," Steel-High head coach Tom Hailey said. "If they play like a team and not individuals, I think we will be fine. That message got across, and we played well in the second half."
Despite the loss, Fairfield finished the season 6-5, ending the season with their first winning record in school history.
"I told this to the kids," Seiler said. "Don't let this loss detract from what you have accomplished. They accomplished something no other student in that school has. The thing it does more than anything I think is it changes your expectations. We will have different expectations next year."
"They are great kids, and that is why we were able to accomplish what we did."
Fairfield 0 6 0 0 -- 6
Steel-High 7 0 14 32 -- 53
SH -- James Warren 51 punt return (Jorge Caraballo kick good), 6:31.
F -- Nick Mort 27 run (run failed), 3:19.
SH -- Warren 79 run (Caraballo kick), 11:24.
SH -- Logan Davis 11 run (Caraballo kick), 1:14
SH -- Shaheim Moody-Williams 4 run (kick failed), 10:39
SH -- Jaki Haywood 9 pass from Warren (kick failed), 8:20.
SH -- Caraballo 18 pass from Warren (Caraballo kick), 5:39.
SH -- Davis 39 fumble return (kick failed), 5:11.
SH -- Warren 20 run (kick good), 1:17.
First downs 6 13
Rushes-yards 40-109 27-224
Passing 2-6-1 10-15-0
Passing yards 12 111
Total yards 121 335
Punts 6-27.0 1-46.0
Fumbles-lost 5-4 4-3
Penalties-yards 4-46 10-65
Rushing -- F, Nick Mort 17-62, Dalton Carbaugh 18-20, Michael Quealy 5-27. SH, Keegan Shay 1- (-11), Shaheim Moody-Williams 14-95, Tyquan Walker 3-24, Zedaah Moffitt 3-7, Brett Clea 1-16, James Warren 2-78, Alex Furlan 2-4,
Passing -- F, Carbaugh 2-6-1-12, SH, Shay 1-3-0-5, Warren 9-12-0-106
Receiving -- F, Chase Senseney 1-6, Antijuan Washington 1-6. SH- Clea 3-34, Davis 2-10, Jaki Haywood 3044, Jorge Caraballo 1-18