Fairview Warriors 2023 8-Player State Champions

The Fairview Warriors are the 2023 Class C 8-Player State Champions. The championship game was played at Belt on a beautiful Saturday afternoon pitting the top two teams against each other. Fairview struck first on a one-yard run by Jeff Tjelde. The Warrior defense was tough in the first quarter causing two Belt turnovers, a fumble forced by Gavin Serafini and recovered by Tjelde and a Tjelde interception in the end zone. The Belt offense got rolling in the second quarter, scoring twice to take a 14-7 lead with only 49 seconds left before halftime. Brock Schlothauer broke off a quick 11-yard burst, Tjelde hit Tyler Loan for 22 yards, Jaxon Vitt for 9 yards, and Serafini for 12 yards setting up the Warriors at the 9-yard line with 12 seconds left. Tjelde dropped back to pass one last time, instead finding a seam up the middle and bulling his way over two defenders for a tying touchdown going into halftime.

Fairview received the second half kick and got a great return from Loan giving them excellent field position. Unfortunately, Belt made a good play and intercepted Tjelde’s pass. Belt used the momentum to finish that drive with a score making the score 22-14. The Warriors answered quickly with a 63-yard scamper by Loan but they missed the conversion bringing the score to 22-20. After a Wyatt McPherson interception, the Warrior’s high-octane offense responded with a 59-yard run by Schlothauer putting them ahead 26-22 going into the fourth quarter. Loan ran a quarterback keeper into the end zone from 6-yards out to make the score 33-22. Belt struck back quickly closing the gap to 33-28 with five minutes left. Once again, Schlothauer proved to be too much for the Huskies as he burst through a huge hole created by a workhorse offensive line from 43-yards out pushing the lead up to 40-28. The Warrior defense held strong while the offense was able to run out the clock making the Fairview Warriors the state champions. Offensively, the Warrior run game churned out 332 yards on 37 carries behind the blocking of Rowan Bushnell, Landen Thompson, and Brody Bushnell. Schlothauer was the biggest beneficiary rushing 19 times for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Loan had 6 carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns and Tjelde ran 4 times for 19 yards and 2 touchdowns. McPherson added 8 carries for 34 yards. The players were welcomed back to Fairview Saturday night with a fire truck-led parade through town. Congratulations to the Fairview Warriors on their perfect season!


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