Fairfield success surprises some

Eagles have never gone further than quarterfinals

Larry Rose has been Fairfield’s top offensive weapon among a roster of several options. Rose has rambled for 2,412 yards and an impressive 41 touchdowns. 
ETSN Larry Rose has been Fairfield’s top offensive weapon among a roster of several options. Rose has rambled for 2,412 yards and an impressive 41 touchdowns. ETSN Some might say that it’s difficult to tell how good Fairfield actually is, because they really haven’t been tested in 2013.

There may be some truth to that, considering they have averaged beating opponents 59-9 and their front line players have only played in the fourth quarter once, in a 44-24 victory over Navasota– the Rattlers only regular season loss. A surprise team, the Eagles were picked second in District 19-3A to Palestine.

Under second year coach John Batchel, like Rockdale, Fairfield is in rarefied air as far as the state playoffs are concerned as this is the furtherest the Eagles have traveled, equaling trips in 1988 and 1991.

Lorena—which pushed Rockdale out of the playoffs in the first round last season—also knocked Fairfield out in the next week as the Eagles finished the year at 8-4. While facing a 13-0 team may be a daunting task, Rockdale has left a pair of 0ne-loss teams in its wake.

“We really don’t look at it that way (records) any more,” Miller said. “We feel like we are a pretty good team and they are just another good team picked to beat us.

“We’re not intimidated anymore.”

The Eagles are coming off another mind-numbing victory, 57-14 over Hardin-Jefferson, after reeling off 50 unanswered points.

“They gave us a good tail whipping and that’s why they are ranked sixth in the state,” said Hardin-Jefferson coach Dwayne DuBois. “They are every bit as good as I thought they were on tape and I feel they have a great shot at winning state.”

Fairfield has plenty of gaudy offensive numbers to throw around.

Senior quarterback Jacob Gallegos has thrown for 1,881 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Senior running back Larry Rose has run for 2,412 yards and an impressive 41 touchdowns.

However, its the Fairfield defense that has mouths agape.

They have allowed just 118 points in 13 outings, posting four shutouts and allowing seven points or less three times.

“They’re fun to watch on defense,” Miller said.

Miller and his team enter the contest with the possibility of having their starting quarterback standing on the sideline next to the team’s top receiver.

Quarterback Clayton Gibbs has a separated shoulder and receiver Pearce Loth is out with a torn ACL.

“All year, we’ve had people step up to the challenge and had that ‘next man up’ mentality.

“We feel like we deserve to be here and we ought to be here and will play who ever is left.”


• Starting strong linebacker Derek Whitsel will move to free safety in place of Gibbs who had been starting in place of the injured Hayden Offield. Jon Hines will start for Whitsel at linebacker

• One connection Rockdale and Fairfield have is in the coaching ranks. After going 6-14 in 1982-83 in Rockdale, Carl Peters left for Fairfield where he went 10-20 from 1984-86.

• James David now has 100 tackles for the season and has gone over the century mark for the third straight year. The Baylor pledge has 408 tackles in his career.

• Loth also shattered the career yardage mark with 1,581 yards in two seasons. He has 90 career receptions.

• While he did not chalk up a touchdown to become the school’s all-time scoring leader, Elijah Brooks rang up 89 yards to run his season total to 1,555 and career total to 2,600. His career total is 789 behind career leader Don Wesley and his season total is 141 behind brother Daniel’s school record.

• Despite separating his shoulder, Clayton Gibbs went over the 3,000-yard mark for the season and now has 3,018 with 35 touchdowns.

• There are plans for a “Tailgating with the Tigers” event for Thursday at the Football Field (gym if weather is bad) at 6 p.m. All-State linebacker and Hall of Honor member Randy J. Morgan will address the team.

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