The Firebirds showed true grit yet again, resulting in a victory over the Knights for the second straight year. With only 14 seconds left on the clock, senior running back Jesse Deglow charged into the end zone for the games only touchdown.
After 3 low-scoring quarters, the Birds came alive in the remaining minutes of the 4th quarter.
Senior quarterback Braden Miller completed a 34 yard pass to senior Marqies Williams, setting the Birds up at the 1-yard line. After Williams’ catch between two Alter defenders, Deglow took the hand off from Miller and lunged into the end zone, giving the Birds a late game lead.
Alter’s final attempt ended in an interception by senior defensive back Ryan Hall, giving the Birds a 12-6 win.
Last years victory ended a 13-year drought, but for this years senior class, this win is even sweeter.
“In my opinion, this year was better than last years win,” Deglow said. “We are setting an example of how you should play football for the underclassmen.”
This year presented an immense amount of pressure for the Firebirds. Talk of last year being a “fluke” was heard by all.
“It was surreal,” Deglow said. “It was a fairy tale, like everything’s coming together. I couldn’t thank my line-men enough.”
Head Coach Dave Miller remarked that Deglow’s last second move out on the field was nothing planned.
“I think what Jesse saw was that everyone was low, there was no one coming at him at the top so he took it,” Miller said.
Miller is solidifying his name in the Firebird history books by being the first coach in 13 years to beat Alter.
“Next to last year’s win, it was one of the most awesome experiences I’ve had in football as a coach or player,” he said.
“Defense wins championships” is a cliche statement used in sports. For Senior Jonas Smith, this holds true. Smith knew that he had to put pressure on the Knights, and his efforts certainly paid off as he had 2 fumble recoveries in the game.
“I just remember running and seeing the ball right there, and holy crap, I just jumped on it,” Smith said.
In those final seconds, Fairmont fans erupted into an ear-deafening cheer. Students, players and coaches stormed the field jumping and screaming in celebration.
“There’s just so much happening at once that you can’t really comprehend it. It feels awesome though, that everyone’s out there supporting you,” Smith said.
The Birds travel to Northmont tonight. The Thunderbolts defeated Lima Senior in week one, 56-13 lead by Miles Johnson, a former Fairmont player. Game time is set for 7 p.m.