By John E. Morgan, Sports Reporter
Collinsville started the game with Fyffe with excitement and a big play to grab a quick 7-0 lead. The big play was a Dominick Brockitt halfback pass for 37 yards to Trenton Nash. They were sky high with visions of an upset. The stadium was rocking.
And then Fyffe did what they do. They went 66 yards in seven plays, all on the ground with Dilan Kilpatrick getting the TD and 63 of the yards on the drive. And, on offense, the Red Devils mostly stayed with that plan. They scored TDs on six of their seven possessions, only punting once in the game. Their only mistake was allowing Collinsville’s Jonathan Byers to recover an onside kick at the start of the second half.
On the night, Kilpatrick had 19 rushes for 138 yards and three touchdowns. He added 41 yards on two receptions. Quarterback Seth Bennefield ran the offense and gained 39 yards rushing. On the only drive where Fyffe had to pass, he hit passes of 38 yards and 7 yards as the first half was running out, giving the Red Devils a 35-7 halftime lead.
Collinsville Coach Ernie Willingham said that he “thought we played hard. We didn’t quit, and I am proud of that.” With several Panthers in street clothes because of injuries, Collinsville did indeed continue to push Fyffe. Gerald Blakely had 57 yards rushing and 67 yards receiving. Keaton Kilgro started his first game at quarterback going 12 of 23 for 126 yards and a TD. He scrambled five times for 26 yards. Nicholas Brockitt had four receptions for 58 yards. The Panthers actually outgained the Red Devils 312 yards to 297 yards.
Their problem was three fumbles. Fyffe scored touchdowns after all three, recovered by Rickey Butts, Chase Adams and Christopher Collins. Collins fumble was particularly damaging to Collinsville who had just gotten a first down at the 28 and seemed to be on their way to a touchdown that would reduce the Fyffe lead to 21-14. Instead, Collins took the incomplete lateral and ran 70 yards for a touchdown that pushed the lead to 28-7. The Panthers drove again, getting to the 15 before fumbling, setting up that late first half drive for the halftime lead.
That was fourteen points lost for Collinsville and fourteen points gained by Fyffe, a twenty eight point swing. And the third fumble was followed up with another Red Devil TD. Both teams would add another touchdown for the final 49-14 score.
Willingham said, “We made mistakes and they are a good team. You’ve got to play a clean game to beat them. With a break or two, we could have been within a touchdown of them at worst at half time. I think playing them made us better, and I hope we made them a little better by not quitting.”
Fyffe Coach Paul Benefield said, “I’m proud of our kids. Both teams played well. Collinsville got the ball to their players and gave us fits. I am proud to get out of here with a win. Now we need to go home and get ready for Plainview and then for the playoffs. Collinsville will play Valley Head and then will travel to Randolph County in the playoffs.