FAIRFIELD -- Penalties can set a team back yardage but they also can cancel a big play and change momentum.
The Fairfield football team experienced a game-changing penalty Friday at Pearl Smith Stadium in a 33-7 loss to Clear Creek-Amana.
After giving up a 80-yard pass for a touchdown just 2 minutes into the game, the Trojans responded to tie the game at 7-7 with 7:05 remaining in the first quarter when Carter Ferrel rushed five yards for a touchdown.
“I was really pleased with the improvement our kids made from Week 1 to Week 2,” Fairfield head coach Nate Weaton said. “We faced another physical football team in Clear Creek-Amana, and the kids responded well. We can play with anyone physically, I am confident of that. Offensively, when we buckled down and everyone did their job, we had success. Defensively, we continued to be physical up-front, but gave up a few too many big plays.”
The visitors scored on a 41-yard touchdown pass for a 13-7 lead with 5:07 remaining in the first quarter.
A momentum-changing call turned the tide for the Clippers.
“We had a chance to go in to halftime up 14-13, but an unfortunate penalty brought the touchdown back,” Weaton said. “That was a big turning point with regard to momentum. The kids kept fighting, but that was a big blow.”
CCA went up 20-7 with 4:41 left before intermission, then scored twice in the third quarter. One toucdown was a 25-yard pass and the other was a 1-yard plunge.
“Our mental edge challenged us again this week,” Weaton said. “We improved from Week 1, but penalties and turnovers plagued us. We will continue to work hard on this as we prepare for Oskaloosa. If we eliminate our own mental errors, I am confident we will win football games.”
The Trojans host the Indians Friday.