AUBURN — No. 6 Reeltown discovered what 14 other teams learned during the 2019 football season — there’s no stopping the Big Red Machine.
No. 1 Fyffe demolished the Rebels 56-7 in the Class 2A state championship game Friday afternoon in Jordan-Hare Stadium, bringing home a second consecutive state title to DeKalb County and Sand Mountain. The Red Devils extended their school-record winning streak to 30 games. Head coach Paul Benefield’s team has delivered back-to-back 15-0 seasons.
Fyffe finished 4-1 in the Super 7 during this decade, winning all four championships at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Their other titles came in 2014 and 2016.
The Red Devils posted an incredible 128-9 record (.934 winning percentage) from 2010-19.
“We want to give God all the glory for our season and for keeping us all safe and healthy through the season,” Benefield said. “Just great kids all the way around, and I think they’re pretty good kids off the field too.”
Fyffe sent the Rebels (13-2) reeling in the first quarter by hitting them with 21 points in the first 4:49 of the contest. The Red Devils led 28-7 after a quarter and 42-7 at intermission.
Fyffe outgained Reeltown 246-5 in the first half. The Red Devils closed with 16 first downs and 325 yards total offense while their amazing defense limited the Rebels to four first downs and 51 total yards.
The Red Devils allowed 43 points in 15 games. Their starting defensive unit surrendered only three points all season.
Reeltown’s defense had no answer for Fyffe sophomore quarterback Zach Pyron, who won most valuable player honors. Pyron rushed 27 times for 171 yards and three touchdowns, threw a TD pass and forced a fumble that led to a defensive score. He finished with three tackles.
Pyron improved to 30-0 as Fyffe’s starting quarterback.
“It’s awesome, but I’ve just got to say I couldn’t do this without my Lord Jesus Christ or these guys around me,” Pyron said. “These guys around me are special, and they’re some great players. I’m blessed to be on this team and have this coach, and this feeling is amazing.”
Fyffe received the opening kickoff and marched 62 yards in five plays. Pyron capped the drive by dashing 38 yards to the end zone with 9:23 left in the first quarter. Brody Dalton kicked it to 7-0.
Fyffe’s Ty Bell recovered a fumble on the kickoff at Reeltown’s 27-yard line, but the officials ruled Cameron Faison was down and gave the ball to the Rebels. Benefield challenged the call that Faison wasn’t down before he fumbled, and the official review proved him right, as the ruling on the field was overturned.
Two plays later, Pyron lofted a 20-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Dalton with 8:36 remaining in the first. Dalton nailed the extra point, making it 14-0.
On the ensuing possession, Pyron forced Iverson Hooks to fumble when he sacked him on a third-and-eight play. Bell scooped up the ball and returned it 7 yards for a touchdown with 7:11 on the clock. Dalton missed the point-after, but Fyffe led 20-0.
“I think it was huge,” Benefield said of Fyffe’s fast start. “You look at the scoreboard and it’s 21-0, and I thought that was a great start for us and it kind of got them down. You get to pressing a little bit if you’re behind, and I thought we kept putting the pressure on.
“Just a great team effort in every phase of the game other than the one kickoff, and that’s attributed to a great athlete who broke a lot of tackles.”
Fyffe’s offense started its next series from the Reeltown 48 following a short punt. It took the Red Devils nine plays to reach the end zone, with Pyron scoring on a 3-yard run with 40 seconds to go. Pyron ran for two points, giving the Red Devils a 28-0 cushion.
The Rebels responded with their only touchdown, as South Carolina commitment Eric Shaw returned the kickoff 90 yards to the house. Connor Moore’s extra point trimmed it to 28-7 with 23 seconds on the clock.
Fyffe drove 59 yards in 12 plays to expand its cushion to 35-7. Pyron scored from the 1 on fourth-and-goal with 6:16 remaining in the second period. Dalton toed the conversion.
Reeltown gained one first down before turning the ball over on downs at its 45 with 4:39 to go. The Red Devils marched to the end zone in eight plays behind the running of Rowell and Pyron.
Rowell ran 4 yards for a touchdown with 19 seconds remaining in the second period. Dalton’s conversion gave FHS a 42-7 cushion.
Rowell finished the game with 18 carries for 121 yards.
Fyffe’s offense started its final scoring drive of the season at the FHS 42 with 5:45 remaining in the third quarter. The 11-play series ended with Malichi Mize’s 2-yard TD run on the first snap of the fourth quarter. Dalton kicked it to 49-7 with 11:53 to go.
Chase Wooten recovered a Rebels’ fumble at the Fyffe 38 on the ensuing possession with 6:17 left.
Special teams provided Fyffe’s final touchdown of its state championship season.
A snap sailed over the head of Reeltown punter Moore and into the end zone, where he picked up the ball. The Red Devils forced a fumble, and David McKee recovered it for a TD with 1:12 remaining. Dalton’s conversion made it 56-7.