Fair Park ground out a crucial 30-14 win over the Bossier Bearkats at Fair Park’s homecoming at Independence stadium on Friday night.
Both Fair Park (5-3) and Bossier (3-5) needed wins Friday night. Fair Park was ranked No. 32 in the power ratings and is on the cusp of making the playoffs. Bossier needed the win to boost it back into playoff contention.
Fair Park relied on a rushing attack of 323 yards led by Robert Rochell and Jerrick Smith. Both players put up 123 yards each, with Smith put up 97 yards alone in the fourth quarter.
“Bossier got after us the first half,’’ Fair Park coach Mike Greene said. “We made some errors and they capitalized on it… we came back and made some plays and that was huge for us.’’
Said Rochelle: “We needed that one. We just had to spread the ball around and open it up. We had to see what the defense was going to do. We acted on certain plays and we came out big on top with the ball movement and it opened up for our game. “
The rain kept the ball on the ground the majority of the first half. The weather also played a big part of fumbles that occurred in the first half as Fair Park had three fumbles and Bossier had two critical deep territory fumbles.
The Bearkats made a 69-yard drive in 10 plays to push Aareon Smallwood into the end zone for a 4-yard scoing run. The Indians gave the ball to Rochell as he rocketed down the field for 66 yards to cut the lead to 7-6.
On the first drive of the second quarter, Joseph Bush broke through for a 5-yard touchdown. The Bearkats became plagued with turnovers deep in their territory.
The bad luck started with a botched put deep in Bearkats territory. Fair Park took advantage by getting down the field and giving it to Cedric Pehl for a 2-yard run to tie the game. Fair Fair Park threatened to widen the lead late in the second quarter as Bossier had two more fumbles deep within the its territory.
The Bearkats defense prevailed and left for halftime still tied 14-14.
“Going into halftime tied up, we told them we were not going to give up and not going to quit,’’ Bossier coach Mike Concilio said. “”They (Fair Park) are well coached and they play hard and that is a deadly combination in the game of football.”
The rain stopped in the second half and the Indians let loose as they kept the Bearkats out of the end zone.
Most of the third quarter the ball was in Bossier’s possession as it ran down the field to eventually miss a field goal. Fair Park then struck late in the third quarter as the Indians eventually got in the end zone with a 1-yard run from Louis Smith.
Fair Park opened a massive attack in the fourth quarter as it compiled 138 yards rushing alone. The fourth quarter was capped off by a 47-yard touchdown run by Jerrick Smith to take the game away from the Bearkats with a final of 30-14.
Fair Park continues its quest to make the playoff the next two weeks with some very large obstacles: Woodlawn and North DeSoto. Bossier is going to try and make a final push for the playoffs with Huntington next week and finishing off with Benton in two weeks.