Fort Runs For 404 Yards

Indians Survive Back-And-Forth Game With TA

Posted: October 12, 2013

Fort Defiance’s Evan Stickley dives forward as Turner Ashby’s Evan Hanifee moves in for the tackle in the Indians’ win Friday night. (Photo by Michael Reilly)
BRIDGEWATER — As players made their way to the locker room and spectators headed to the parking lot Friday night, Fort Defiance High School football coach Dan Rolfe had to peek at the scoreboard one last time, just to confirm that his team had indeed defeated Turner Ashby.

“Have they turned off the scoreboard yet?” he said. “The second it hit 0:00 is the only time I felt like we had the upper hand.”

In a high-scoring game that was tight throughout, the Indians prevailed 38-35 on the burly shoulders of senior fullback Evan Stickley, who rushed for 246 yards and three touchdowns, including a critical 17-yard jolt that put Fort (3-4) ahead by 10 with 2:16 remaining.

“Scouting report was basically he runs hard and you can’t tackle him high,” TA quarterback/linebacker Evan Hanifee said. “Both turned out to be true. We tried to tackle him by the shoulders a bunch and found out it didn’t work. He ran down the field on us.”

Hanifee himself had a huge offensive night, teaming with his younger brother, Brenan, to keep the Knights (1-5) in the game, even as their defense struggled to stop the Indians’ ground attack.

Fort rushed for 404 yards on 58 carries. Sophomore tailback Esteban Reyes-Hernandez contributed with an 80-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter and finished with 131 yards on the ground.
Meanwhile, Hanifee was 12-for-21 for 211 yards through the air — nine of those passes landing in the gloves of the sophomore Brenan, who gained 135 yards and caught the first two touchdown passes of his career.

An injury to a Fort defensive back forced the Indians to put quarterback Aaron Eppard at cornerback on Hanifee, and the Knights feasted on that matchup, which gave a considerable height advantage to Brenan Hanifee.

“Both brothers are too good,” Rolfe said. “Especially for a guy who hasn’t been out there all year.”

But for every positive play the Knights made, they seemed to devastate themselves with a penalty. TA was cited 10 times for 112 yards, including three facemask penalties and multiple personal fouls.

“If you fire off, it’s always the second guy who’s going to get caught,” coach Charlie Newman said. “And that’s kind of what keeps happening. And we had three facemask penalties tonight that really killed us, too. Just not being very disciplined.”

Trailing by eight points midway through the fourth quarter, TA scored on a 5-yard run by senior Shane Brown (author of 174 rushing yards Friday) to cut the deficit to 30-28 with 5:13 left. Needing a successful two-point conversion to tie the score, TA turned to Evan Hanifee, who rolled to his right and dove for the end zone. One referee said that Hanifee converted, but another ruled him off, keeping TA behind.

“I got around the edge and reached the ball out and dove; I felt like I hit the pylon with the ball,” Hanifee said. “… Can’t blame it on the refs. We made some dumb decisions tonight as far as talking, stuff like that.”

Stickley’s touchdown on Fort’s next drive — aided by more TA penalties — more or less put the Knights away, although TA gave itself another shot with a touchdown pass to Jordan Carte with 53 seconds remaining. The Indians corralled TA’s ensuing onside kick attempt and were able to run out that clock Rolfe thought might never stop.

Fort             8 8 8 14 – 38
TA               8 7 7 13 – 35

First Quarter
F- Stickley 1 run (Ruiz-Haynes), 8:36
T- B. Hanifee 16 pass from E. Hanifee (B. Hanifee pass from brown), 2:40
Second Quarter
T- B. Hanifee 15 pass from E. Hanifee (Overacker kick), 9:26
F- Eppard 3 run (Stickley run), 3:17
Third Quarter
F- Ruiz-Haynes 80 run (Eppard run), 8:56
T- Hill 2 run (Overacker kick), 2:17
Fourth Quarter
F- Stickley 38 run (conversion failed), 11:50
T- Brown 5 run (conversion failed), 5:13
F- Stickley 18 run (Stickley run), 2:16
T- Carte 14 pass from Hanifee (Overacker kick), 0:53
                                                FD             TA
First Downs                           16              17
Rushes-Yards                   58-404       39-210
Passing Yards                       72            214
Total Yards                           476           424
Comp-Att-Int                       2-3-0      13-22-0
Fumbles-Lost                      2-2            0-0
Punts                                  3-38.0      4-41.3
Penalties-Yards                 9-86       10-112
RUSHING - Fort, Stickley 32-246, Ruiz-Haynes 11-130, Simmons 1-17, Jones 3-11, Eppard 11-0. Turner Ashby, S. Brown 29-174, E. Hanifee 4-25, Hill 5-7, Harris 1-4.
PASSING -  Fort, Eppard 2-3-72-0. Turner Ashby, E . Hanifee 12-21-211-0, S. Brown 1-1-3-0.
RECEIVING -  Fort, Simmons 2-72. Turner Ashby, B. Hanifee 9-135, Knott 1-39, C. Brown 1- 21, Carte 1-14, S. Brown 1-5,

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