FYFFE — One of the trademarks of Fyffe football during the ultra-successful tenure of head coach Paul Benefield is the Red Devils allow their game to do the talking, and not their mouths.
Three Class 2A state championships, seven consecutive trips to the state playoff quarterfinals and a 125-9 record are a few of Fyffe’s accomplishments this decade that speak for themselves.
Friday night, the No. 1 Red Devils routed No. 7 Ranburne 38-7 at Long-Ridgeway Stadium in the second round of the postseason. Fyffe rolled to a 31-0 halftime advantage and led 38-0 before the Bulldogs avoided the shutout with a fourth-quarter touchdown.
Fyffe (12-0) extended its winning streak to 27 games in a row. The Red Devils have won 38 consecutive games on their home field.
Fyffe hosts unbeaten and fourth-ranked Red Bay in the quarterfinals Nov. 22. If the Red Devils win, they’ll play at home in the semifinals against a Region 8 rival in either No. 3 Collinsville or North Sand Mountain. Collinsville hosts NSM in the quarterfinals.
The combination of junior Ike Rowell and sophomore Zach Pyron propelled Fyffe’s attack against Ranburne. Rowell rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns, and Pyron — who is 27-0 as the team’s starting quarterback — ran for 76 yards and two scores.
Rowell ignited the rout by breaking loose for a 51-yard TD sprint with 9:53 left in the first quarter. The extra point failed.
Fyffe moved 57 yards in five plays on its next series. Malichi Mize converted a third-and-four by gaining 25 yards on a reverse. Two plays later, Rowell spun out of a tackle, cut outside and raced 20 yards to the end zone with 4:48 remaining.
The two-point conversion failed, but the Red Devils led 12-0.
Ranburne returned a short kickoff to Fyffe’s 48, from where it gained one first down before Fyffe’s defense stiffened. Brody Dalton deflected a fourth-down pass from his 35-yard line, putting the Red Devils’ offense back on the field.
Pyron connected with Dalton on a 32-yard pass to Ranburne’s 15. On the next play, Pyron kept for 15 yards and a touchdown with 11:17 left in the second period. He also ran for two points, making it 20-0.
Chase Wooten recorded a sack and Justin Stiefel broke up a third-and-12 pass on Ranburne’s next series.
Fyffe made it four possessions and four touchdowns by covering 71 yards in nine plays. Pyron threw an 18-yard pass to Dalton, and Kyle Dukes ripped off a 21-yard gain. Dukes’ run made it first-and-goal at the 4.
Pyron ran 4 yards to the end zone with 4:48 to go in the second quarter. His two-point run gave Fyffe a 28-0 cushion.
Dalton kicked off into the end zone, and the officials penalized Ranburne for a personal foul on the kick, pushing the Bulldogs back to their 10. They gained 5 yards in three plays and then punted.
Fyffe took possession at Ranburne’s 37. Eight plays later, Dalton converted a 25-yard field goal with 26.6 seconds left.
The Red Devils amassed 240 yards rushing and 47 yards passing in the opening half. They limited Ranburne to 33 yards rushing and 29 passing.
Ranburne returned the second-half kickoff into Fyffe territory, but the Red Devils’ defense refused to allow the good field position to yield results. Dukes sacked Jaxon Langley on fourth down, putting Fyffe’s offense in business at Ranburne’s 46.
Pyron threw a 27-yard pass to Eli Benefield, picking up a first down at the 16. Rowell dashed through the defense for a 16-yard TD on the next play. Dalton added the extra point, making it 38-0.
Ranburne marched 80 yards in 10 plays for its lone touchdown.
Langley had completions of 18 and 24 yards to Tyler Craft. Langley completed the drive with a 9-yard TD pass to Tye Bailey with 8:45 to go in the fourth quarter. Caden Mitchell converted the extra point.
Fyffe’s Jacob Mitchell recovered a fumble at the Red Bay 15 with just under a minute to play in the game.