Richwood — Fayetteville rolled into Richwood behind a powerful rushing attack. They rolled out of town with a big win in an early season Class A showdown.
Behind their ground and pound attack, the Pirates dominated the line of scrimmage and walked away with a convincing 41-28 win in a battle of undefeateds.
"That is our identity and that is our culture here. We are a wing-T team," Fayetteville head coach David Moneypenny said. "We are going to build walls and run the football. That is just how we do it. We can do other stuff, but when it gets down to it, these kids want to run that wing-T. They have a lot of confidence in it and when it is clicking, it is clicking pretty good."
Clicking may be an understatement.
Led by Jordan Dempsey, who piled up 259 yards on 24 carries, Fayetteville battered the home team up front for 441 total yards on the ground.
"(Fayetteville) dominated the line of scrimmage up front tonight," Richwood head coach Chad Hall said. "In spurts we played well, but they even dominated defensively up front and forced us to throw too much. They outplayed us."
Fayetteville looked to start quick and took control from the opening drive, marching 62 yards in 10 plays for the opening score. Dempsey carried the ball seven times on the opening series and capped the drive with a 5-yard scoring plunge.
The Pirates ran 35 offensive plays in the first half, while the Lumberjacks managed just 19.
But as dominant as the Pirates looked, Richwood only trailed 14-7 at the break and had the ball to open the second half.
The game turned, for a moment, on the first play when Jeremiah Johnston exploded through the line for a 67-yard score to tie the game at 14-14.
"Chad Hall is the best coach I have seen in six years," Moneypenny explained. "He has brought this program from nothing to something. They don't quit."
Knowing they needed to quickly regain the momentum, the Pirates wasted no time in regaining the lead. The Pirates marched 57 yards in four plays, aided in large part by a Kris Wilson 44-yard scamper to put the ball at the 1-yard line. Dempsey carried it in from there to put his team back on top, 21-14.
On the next series disaster struck the Lumberjacks when Matthew Honaker dove on a loose ball to give the Pirates a chance to spread the game open.
Fayetteville took advantage of the break when Dempsey weaved through the defense masterfully for a 52-yard scoring run. After Logan Frantz scored on the next possession, a tie game was suddenly a 34-14 Fayetteville lead after three quarters.
However, Richwood would not roll over. After a botched punt exchange, the Lumberjacks narrowed the lead when Caleb Jantuah hit Michael McGhee for a touchdown.
"What I was pleased with the most was that we did not quit," Hall explained. "They showed me some character and some kids grew up tonight."
The 'Jacks would get back within six points, but after a failed onside kick, Frantz put the game out of reach with his second score of the night.
"If we don't have a running game, they can rotate the safety over top and cover Michael (McGhee)," Hall said. "Coach Moneypenny is an incredible coach. That is Fayetteville and they are a good football program. We closed the gap at the end, but we couldn't get it done tonight. We just have to bounce back."
Fayetteville (3-0) hosts county rival Meadow Bridge next week, while it gets no easier for Richwood, which travels to Hico to play undefeated Midland Trail.
Email: email@example.com and follow on Twitter @Rusman1981
F (3-0): 7 7 20 7 — 41
R (2-1): 0 7 7 14 — 28
F: Jordan Dempsey 5 run (Won Young Hwang kick)
R: Michael McGhee 7 pass from Caleb Jantuah (Endris Xhelili kick)
F: Sammy Pullens 3 run (Hwang kick)
R: Jeremiah Johnston 67 run (Xhelili kick)
F: Dempsey 1 run (Hwang kick)
F: Dempsey 52 run (kick blocked)
F: Logan Frantz 8 run (Hwang kick)
R: McGhee 26 pass from Jantuah (kick blocked)
R: Jantuah 3 run (Jantuah rush)
F: Frantz 1 run (Whang kick)
RUSHING — F: Dempsey 24-259, Frantz 10-72, Sammy Pullens 13-49, Kris Wilson 6-60, Luke Vass 1-4. R: Johnston 16-123, Jantuah 18-48, Michael McGhee 1 (-1), Braden Snyder 1-13.
PASSING — F: 2-4-5-0. R: 9-18-118-0
RECEIVING — F: Timmy Bell 1-2, Blake Underwood 1-3. R: McGhee 4-64, Johnston 1-10, Doye Ward 3-32, Snyder 1-12.
TAKEAWAYS — F: Honaker (fum rec).