‘We needed this’ -- Lakota West blanks Fairfield for first win of season

FAIRFIELD — Elijah Davis had himself a special night defensively, while the Lakota West High School football team’s offense found its motor.

Davis had a sack, notched a safety and returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown, and the Firebirds scored 21 first-quarter points on their way to a 33-0 victory over Fairfield on Friday.

“I had a good night,” said Davis, who was named the Great American Rivalry Series Player of the Game. “My teammates put me in position to get the tackles I needed to get in order for us to win the game.

Both squads were searching for that much-needed first win of the season, and Lakota West had its way after scoring on the game’s first drive.

“We needed this,” Davis said. “This gives us confidence. I feel like our team is going to do better and better each week. We just needed a confidence booster.”

During the school day on Friday, Firebirds junior Sam Wiles found out he was going to be the starting quarterback.

Wiles led Lakota West on an eight-play, 71-yard scoring drive that was capped off on one of his two touchdown passes — a 52-yard strike to junior receiver Rece Mason.

“It all started during practice. We were struggling, and they needed somebody to step up,” said Wiles, who had been vying for the quarterback spot with freshman Jackson Smith and senior Nolan Parker. “So I stepped up to that goal.

“I know that with the trust that those players have in me, and the bond that we have together, those are my brothers. I love those guys,” Wiles added. “I know that I can trust them with anything. Our O-line stepped up today. Props to them. They gave me enough time to cook some eggs back there. I had all the time I wanted. … I like to cook me a little breakfast.”

Wiles finished with 182 yards passing on 9 of 10 attempts and two touchdowns. He connected with a wide-open Jiovionni Wilson on the second TD pass from 31 yards out to give the Firebirds a commanding 28-0 lead just before the half.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to win a lot of football games as a head coach, but this one feels pretty good,” Lakota West coach Tom Bolden said. “It’s right up there. ”

The Firebirds (1-2) were searching for an offensive spark after losses to St. Xavier and Princeton. They racked up 313 yards of offense, had possession of the ball for three full quarters and had no turnovers on Friday.

“We couldn’t block them, and we were out-physicaled at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” Fairfield coach Jason Krause said. “We couldn’t tackle, couldn’t cover them — they just out-manned us. There’s no doubt about it.

“When our running back went down, it changes our offense,” Krause added of senior Juseters Fataki, who was sidelined with a leg injury in the first quarter. “We were just trying to manufacture some yardage as best as we could. We just have to find a running back, if he’s going to be out for an extended period of time.”

Brayden Benner went 4 for 4 on extra points and booted a 24-yard field goal with 5:53 left in the third quarter to give the Firebirds a 31-0 advantage.

After a Dorian Soriano punt that pinned Fairfield (0-3) at the 1-yard line, Davis stormed through the line to tackle Fairfield ball carrier Tyler George for a safety to close out the scoring.

Fairfield’s Braeden Shanklin led all tacklers with 14.

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