“If (Alter) stopped us, they had to drive the length of the field,” Miller said. “With the way our defense was playing at that point, we had to try it. The kids executed and made me look smart.”
The completion, on a play-action fake out of the Firebirds’ “Heavy” set, was one of three for Hillon, who finished 3-for-3 for 57 yards.
“We saw them cheating on some plays,” said Hillon, who completed six passes total last season. “We caught them off guard at the right moments.”
Workhorse Drew Baker carried the ball 33 times for 147 yards behind a Fairmont offensive line that produced a 32:25-15:35 edge in time of possession and 245 total yards. Will Holt, who had three field goals last season, was 3-for-3 with makes from 37, 29 and 26yards. The Firebirds went 3-for-3 on fourth down.
“Our offensive line won it in the trenches,” HIllon said. “I also have to give it up for the defense. They held them to just seven points. That’s incredible.”
Alter had the ball four times. The Knights scored on their first possession (a 9-yard run by Danny Mangin III) for a 7-0 lead, but critical negative yardage plays and penalties, including one that nullified a 73-yard third quarter touchdown run by CJ Hicks, hampered the next two drives. Alter’s final possession ended with a fumble at Fairmont’s 11-yardline.
The Knights managed 177 yards and completed one of three pass attempts.
“You don’t get many opportunities against a team like that, because they were able to control the line of scrimmage a lot of the time offensively,” Alter head coach Ed Domsitz said. “When we had opportunities we either broke down fundamentally or made critical mistakes.”
Hicks, the state’s No. 1 senior prospect and an Ohio State linebacker commit, finished with eight tackles, while teammate Lynell Collier racked up a game-high 11.
“The Alter-Fairmont game just jumps out at you every year,” Domsitz said. “There are a lot of intense feelings within the communities. It was great to be in front of a crowd like that.”
“You definitely felt it tonight,” HIllon said. “You felt the stadium shaking. I missed that.”
Alter plays Thurgood Marshall at Centerville next week, while Fairmont hosts Trotwood-Madison.