Fairview football opened the first round of the playoffs on home field in dominating fashion on Saturday, Nov. 2, against the visiting Choteau Bulldogs, winning 8-70. The Bulldogs came in as the fourth seed out of the Northern Division with a 5-3 overall record. Fairview entered the contest as a number one seed out of the Eastern C Division with an overall record of 8-0.
Choteau won the coin toss and elected to begin the game on offense. Their first drive ended with a quick three-and-out giving the ball to Fairview. Fairview senior quarterback Alex Shriver on the very first play of the drive, took it 72 yards on a quarterback keeper to the end zone for the first of many touchdowns on the day. Senior running back Cody Asbeck converted on the two-point conversion making it 0-8 with 10:22 left in the first quarter.
Choteau fumbled on their very next drive, resulting in a recovery by senior wide receiver Braiden Taylor. Asbeck would be on the receiving end of a touchdown that was negated by a penalty. However, the Warriors would quickly get back in the end zone again on another keeper by Shriver and a successful two-point conversion. With 9:51 left in the first quarter, Fairview was leading 0-16.
Choteau would again turn the ball over on the next drive throwing an interception to Asbeck. Shortly after, Shriver found Taylor with a touchdown pass now leading 0-24. The Warriors scored one more time in the first quarter on a touchdown reception by junior tight end Paul Hardy. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 0-32.
As the second quarter began, Fairview continued the onslaught. Asbeck would find the end zone on a 40-yard run for another touchdown followed by another touchdown run of 30 yards. The first half ended with a running a clock and a score of 0-48.
On the opening kickoff of the second half, Choteau kicked off to Asbeck, who this time would score a touchdown by way of special teams on a 72-yard kickoff return. Later in the quarter, junior Brady Buxbaum got in on the scoring being on the receiving end of a touchdown. The score was 0-64 at the end of the third quarter.
With one quarter remaining, Fairview sophomore running back Jace Vitt converted for the Warriors final touchdown of the game on a five-yard run making it 0-70. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, leaving Fairview with unsuccessful two-point conversion all game.
In the final seconds of the game, Choteau senior wide receiver Kyler Crabtree found the endzone on a handoff giving the Bulldogs their first and only touchdown of the game resulting in a final score and a game one victory in the playoffs by Fairview 8-70.
Fairview head coach Levi Seitz credits a lot of this game’s success on preparation.
“I thought we showed up and we were ready to go,” he said. “I mean, all the guys did a good job of being locked in all week and studying.”
With that week-long preparation, Seitz felt that gave them a head start.
“We kind of had an idea of what they were going to do, we had a pretty good idea of what they wanted to come out and do,” he said.
Fairview’s offense scored a lot of points all year, the defense remained stout all year, both of which continued in this game, so Seitz sees it has a great problem to have.
“It’s kind of hard to tell which is the strength of our team, but being more of a defensive guy, I was really proud of our defense,” he said.
Seitz did allude to a few mistakes in the game, none of which were costly for the Warriors.
“It was just a good overall performance,” he said. “I’m proud of these guys.”
Now it’s onto the quarter-finals for the Warriors who will be back on home field next Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. against the Thompson Falls Blue Hawks.
Thompson Falls comes into the game with a record of 9-1 and a first-round victory of 55-20 over Twin Bridges.
Seitz sees it as a tough challenge and he knows they’ll be ready to go.
“I have been watching a little bit of there film throughout the year and talked to some coaches around the state and they said they’re a good team,” he said. “They’re big and love to run the ball and they’re a pretty physical team. I know they’re going to show up and they’re going to be ready to do what they do.”