Fairmont won the previous meeting 10-7 a year ago when Brock Baker threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Owen Olson on fourth down with 12.9 seconds remaining.
Miamisburg didn’t have to worry about that kind of dramatic finish in Week 7 of the 2023 season. It rallied from a 10-7 halftime deficit with a 21-0 run in the second half and won 28-17.
“We were talking all week about how big of a game it was,” Miamisburg coach Lance Schneider said, “and the fact that we’ve had close games with those guys every year. They always found a way to win — last year on the last play. So it’s huge for us to finally be able to get that monkey off our back against them.”
Miamisburg had not beaten Fairmont since a 45-14 victory in 2016. That was its third straight victory in the series.
Miamisburg (5-2, 2-2) has now won two Greater Western Ohio Conference games in a row — it beat Northmont 36-33 in Week 6 — after opening conference play with losses to Centerville and Wayne.
“We look at both of those Centerville and Wayne games,” Schneider said, “and we had opportunities and didn’t make plays. That’s what GWOC football is. Tonight we made them, and last week we made them. Now Beavercreek is going to be another tough game. It’s just a matter don’t beat yourself and make the plays to win games.”
Fairmont (4-3, 3-1) fell out of a first-place tie with Centerville and Wayne. Centerville (6-1, 4-0) beat Beavercreek 38-6 on Friday to take over first place. Wayne (5-2, 3-1) lost 26-24 at home to Northmont (4-3, 1-3).
Fairmont took a 7-0 lead when Damien Pattin scored on a 2-yard run to cap a drive that chewed up most of the first quarter. Miamisburg tied the game 7-7 on a touchdown run by quarterback Preston Barr early in the second quarter.
The end of the first half featured an unusual sequence. Fairmont blocked a 21-yard field goal by Miamisburg as time expired and almost returned the ball for a touchdown. Keith Henry’s tackle saved the touchdown. A horse-collar tackle penalty on the play, though, gave Fairmont an untimed down, and it kicked a 20-yard field goal with no time on the clock to take a 10-7 lead.
The momentum shifted Miamisburg’s way when it stopped Fairmont on fourth down near midfield early in the second half. Barr’s second touchdown run gave the Vikings a 14-10 lead. Two touchdown runs by Hunter Derr in the fourth quarter clinched the victory.
Other than the one touchdown drive by Fairmont, Miamisburg’s defense limited the GWOC’s top rushing offense, which was averaging 187.8 yards per game.
“The big thing is you’ve got to get them in third-and-long situations,” Schneider said. “They want to make it third-and-short or third-and-manageable so they can go for it on fourth down. We had a couple of big fourth-down stops. We played really well up front. (Coach) Marcus Omosule does a great job with our D-line. Linebackers were able to make tackles.”