[Ayden Crowley | WOUB ]

Dragons season cut short by Rough Raiders

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CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (WOUB) – The West Jefferson Roughriders dominated en route to a 33-8 upset over the Fairland Dragons.

“We didn’t play well,” said Dragon’s head coach Melvin Cunningham following the loss. “We turned the ball over. We didn’t protect the quarterback well. I didn’t coach well.” 

Problems started for Fairland early. On special teams, an area that the Dragons typically excel in, Fairland turned the ball over after muffing a punt giving the Roughriders prime field possession. 

West Jefferson would be forced to settle for three after stiff red zone defense, however; the Roughriders spent too much time in that territory. 

The Dragons turned the ball over several times setting West Jefferson up with plenty of opportunities to score. And the Roughriders did not blink. 

The Dragon defense spent extended time on the field due to the unforced errors and it showed. As the game progressed, Roughriders’ runs grew in length and Fairland appeared exhausted. 

West Jefferson was in the driver seat from the first snap, and they never looked back. It was a bitter ending for a Fairland team that had higher aspirations. 

“We can’t allow this one moment to define who we are, what we are, and what we have accomplished throughout this season,” said Cunningham. “It’s hard when we perform in the manner that we did.”

With the loss, Fairland will be losing a slew of talented seniors who have transformed the program into the powerhouse it is today.

“It’s the greatest senior class we have ever had,” said Cunningham. “I’m just thankful that I got an opportunity to be a part of their life and hopefully impact it in a way that is going to be meaningful.”

After their impressive showing, West Jefferson will take on the Fort Frye Cadets in the regional final game.