Glasgow welcomed in Fairfield for Homecoming and ran onto Scottie Field on Friday night hoping to pull off what would surely be one of the biggest upsets of the season. By the end of the first quarter it was abundantly clear why Fairfield had been ranked as the No. 1 team in Class B.
The Scotties, who have been prone to mistakes and slow starts in their two home games this season, found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard again in the opening minutes of the game. They opened the game with a false start penalty on the first play from scrimmage before punting the ball away three snaps later.
On Fairfield's first drive, the Eagles needed just five plays to score a touchdown, as senior Chad Barrett ran the ball in from six yards out. They needed just two plays on their second drive to score again, stretching the count to 14-0. To compound matters, on the Scotties' next drive, quarterback Lane Herbert sailed a pass that was caught by Fairfield's Collin Allen, who returned the interception 50 yards for a touchdown, putting the Eagles up 21-0 with only a little more than six minutes elapsed in the game.
Fairfield would score two more times, needing just five plays in the two drives, before Glasgow was able to get its composure back.
Trailing by five scores with 5:30 left in the half, the Scotties were finally able to make big plays on the Fairfield defense. Junior back Boyd Sinclair broke free for a 34-yard run to move the Scotties into Eagle territory for the first time all night. Two plays later Herbert found receiver Griffin Bengochea wide open over the middle of the field for a 35-yard touchdown. Unfortunately, a penalty on the extra point negated a made first try, only for the second attempt to be blocked, leaving the Scotties trailing 35-6.
The Eagles scored once more before halftime, quickly moving down the field to increase their lead to 42-6 as the teams entered the break.
The second half was fairly quick, with the clock running the entire time. Fairfield scored on the first drive of the third quarter, capitalizing on a pair of Scottie mistakes to add one more touchdown before pulling its starters.
Glasgow got one back to close the game, as Herbert capped a long drive in the game's final two minutes with a keep for a two-yard touchdown. A conversion attempt failed, leaving the Scotties down 49-12, where the game ended.
“We had way to many mistakes,” head coach Dan Dale said. “We just didn't handle things very well. We let ourselves get rattled and then it just started snowballing on us.”
Penalties were the big factor in stalling the Glasgow offense early in the game and simple mistakes took away any momentum late. The Scotties committed movement infractions in seven of their eight first-half drives. In the one drive they didn't false start, the team had a delay of game penalty on third down that forced it back, eventually to punt from its own end zone.
On the first drive of the second half, the Scotties looked re-energized, forcing the Eagles back on every down and even blocking a punt. Yet, when the punt landed, around the Fairfield 10-yard line, a Glasgow player touched the ball and watched as an Eagle fell on it to give the state's top team new life. Later that drive, Glasgow forced a fumble only to try and pick the ball up and run, which unintentionally pushed the ball back to the Eagles' quarterback, who found room up the opposite sideline to run 54 yards for a touchdown.
“It seemed like every time we had something going we'd have another penalty,” Dale said. “Our self-discipline was not very good … The kids played hard, they never quit, but Fairfield's just a really good football team.”
This week the Scotties will need to clean up their play, as they host Cut Bank, who like Fairfield was in last season's Class B semifinals. Despite being only 1-2 this season, the Wolves bring a wealth of experience into Scottie Field, with their two losses coming to Eureka and Malta, both top tier teams in Class B this season.
“They're another good football team,” Dale said. “We just have to come out and work harder. We're just not there yet. We have to do a better job of executing and we've got to do a better job of minimizing mistakes. That's been the trouble in our three ball games. We're better than this and we're going to work to show that.”
The Scotties will try to right the ship on Friday, with the game beginning at 7 p.m. at Scottie Field.