Washington Evening Journal
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FAIRFIELD — Nobody knew how long it had been but everyone knew it was going to be celebrated in the best way Friday.
It was homecoming in Fairfield and the Trojans won that game 38-13 over Keokuk at Pearl Smith Field.
“I’ve got to go dance then I’ll come back and talk to you,” Fairfield head coach Nate Weaton said. “The (boys) will be dancing tonight I can guarantee you that.“
“It feels amazing because in my career of playing football I’ve never won a homecoming game,” said Teddy Metcalf, who scored a touchdown. “I’ll make sure to dance. It really means something to me so sure, I’ll dance.”
Hunter Cecchini had the night for Fairfield. He scored two touchdowns, the first Trojan one and the last and popped off a 68-yard run when he needed 69 for the score. Metcalf finished the last yard. Perfect complements to each other as the score would indicate.
Thunder and lightning have been used as nicknames, so maybe rock ’n’ roll or the juke dance and the bowl-you-over dance — Tango and Rumba.
“They both run really hard,“ Weaton said. ”The kids are ecstatic because wanted this win.“
Keokuk got on the board first by going 95 yards in 11 plays for a 7-0 lead with 8 minutes, 51 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Trojans tied it seven plays later with Cecchini’s run then on the next possession he ran left tackle for 68 yards and Rumba back Metcalf scored from the 1 with 1:39 before the break.
The two-back set is a powerful lineup with quarterback Tate Allen. Cecchini was a guard but coaches knew he had potential. Against Knoxville, he had his shot and earned more time.
“It’s an overwhelming feeling being 4-1 and seeing this program turn the page,” Weaton said. “These kids are the picture of punching adversity in the face.”
The Trojan seniors were 0-9 as sophomores, 1-6 last season. Despite the losses, they wanted to buy in. Spending a lot of time together has made them a team to be reckoned with.
“It takes a group. I couldn’t be more proud of my staff,” Weaton said. “They all see things different and it turns into a great collaboration. So far so good.”
The defensive line looked good after a slow start and the linebackers had a better second half.
“I thought they were too tight but coach (Woody) Orne is great at midgame adjustments,” Weaton said.
The two running backs, Tango and Rumba, both praised their offensive line and Rumba said Cecchini’s blocking makes a huge difference.
Cecchini has been a welcome addition. He used to live in Fairfield, moved to Texas and recently moved back.
“I felt after halftime, we had it won because we didn’t assert ourselves in the first half,” Metcalf said. “Once we got the pass intercept, I knew we had it.”
It was third-and-8 on Keokuk’s third play of the second half when Allen intercepted a Chiefs pass, then threw a touchdown to Max Weaton on the first Trojan play from scrimmage. It was 21-7 before a minute of the second half elapsed.
Evan Haines intercepted a pass at midfield and Allen scored seven plays later for a 28-7 Trojans lead, that lasted the time it took for Diego Garcia to run it back 78 yards and the Chiefs trailed 28-13.
A personal foul on Keokuk’s kickoff was exacerbated by an unsportsmanlike call on a Chiefs coach. A 31-yard field goal before the quarter ended, then a 33-yard Cecchini run right down the middle ended the scoring at 8:49.
“My boy Hunter is the juke running back and I’m more plow them over on the way to the touchdown,” said Metcalf, a 5-foot-7, 180-pound senior. “I run my hardest and it’s all based on lineman because they are the ones who take the big guys out so then I’m seeing linebackers when I’m going full speed and they’re not.”
“They are making us the big holes and telling us what to look for,” Cecchini said. “We’ll probably only have to do 25 percent of the work and our line does the rest.”
Metcalf ran through one of his teammates but Cecchini bowled over a referee. “He was in the way.”
West Burlington/Notre Dame lost to Solon 56-0 last week and welcomes Fairfield Friday for Homecoming.