A matchup showcasing two of the Greater Miami Conference’s best teams and brightest stars went down Friday night at Firebird Stadium and it ended up in a lopsided 33-7 Fairfield victory over Lakota West.
None were brighter than Fairfield senior running back Jutahn McClain, who rushed for 182 yards and three touchdown as the Indians ran their record to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the GMC. Lakota West fell to 3-2, 2-1.
»PHOTOS: Fairfield routs Lakota West
“He fits through some pretty tiny cracks,” Fairfield coach Jason Krause said. “He fits sideways sometimes. He can twist his upper half and his lower half keeps rolling. I think his speed showed tonight and his durability.”
Both defenses kept McClain and David Afari of Lakota West mostly in check during the first half. Afari scored on a 22-yard toss from freshman Mitch Bolden, but only managed one yard on nine carries in the first half.
Fairfield coach Jason Krause spoke highly of Afari prior to the game, but his team was up for the task. Afari finished with 6 yards on 16 carries. The Firebirds finished with 69 yards of total offense, compared to 340 from the Indians.
“We’ve felt like our defense was going to pretty special,” said Krause, who has coached Fairfield since 2011. “We didn’t try to stop everything. We just knew we had to stop their best stuff and let our kids play fast and have fun.”
McClain wasted no time turning around a modest, by his standards, first half by taking his first touch of the second half 48 yards to the end zone to make it 20-7 The Indians’ good field position was set up by a failed fake punt run.
Krause had faith that his star running back would get more opportunities in the second half.
“He’s gonna find a crack sooner or later and he’s fast enough that he is going to go the distance when he does,” said Krause.
Fairfield upped the lead to 27-7 when Jayden Mayes hauled in a 23-yard TD pass from Sawiaha Ellis on a fourth-and-20 play. Ellis had a first-half rushing TD.
McClain added his third touchdown run in the fourth, breaking away for a 68-yard run. The University of Kentucky commit leads the conference with 871 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.
“We played hard in the first half but there were just too many mental mistakes,” West coach Tom Bolden told WCPO.com. “Too many bad snaps. Too many missed assignments — things like that. We just weren’t very good upfront offensively, and a lot of that had to do with Fairfield just whooping us upfront. But we’re better than that. It shouldn’t have been that bad of a whooping from their defense.”
Fairfield entered the game as the No. 2 team in the Division I, Region 4 computer ratings. Lakota West was No. 3.
Both teams return to the field next Friday. Fairfield hosts Lakota East, while Lakota West travels to winless Oak Hills.