FAIRMONT — Already during the young 2020 season, defending Class AA/A state champion Fairmont Senior High proved it’s powerful and flashed the dynamism that will be the cornerstones of a run at a repeat.
But on Thursday, the exhibition of those title-worthy traits reached a crescendo as the Polar Bears absolutely did a number on previously-undefeated Big 10 foe Philip Barbour with a NFHS 8-3 victory at East-West Stadium.
Fairmont Senior (4-0) burst out to a 5-0 lead by halftime and went up by as much as 6-0 early in the second half, dominating possessions and generating offense with ease in the process.
Time and again, the Polar Bears punctured the Colts’ backline and distorted their defensive shape with fluid touch and synergistic feet to feet passing. In the first half alone, FSHS launched a whopping 19 shots and earned 11 corner kicks as they kept all the action in Philip Barbour’s third and unfurled run after run down the flanks.
In total, Fairmont Senior had five different goal scorers account for the eight scores, with Ashton Cecil, Jonas Branch and Bubby Towns all pulling the double dip for the Polar Bears. Cecil went for back to back goals in the 17th and 24th minutes to extend Fairmont’s lead to 3-0. Towns scores FSHS’s first and final goals, and Branch scored both of his goals in the second half.
Nate Flower and Ro Jones also scored for the Polar Bears, and Flower added a pair of assists while Branch and Denzel Duvert also had helpers.
Philip Barbour got two goals from Trenton Whited, and Grant Dadisman also added a goal in the game’s final minutes.
The Polar Bears’ dynamite offensive showing started quickly, with the initial score coming just five minutes in when Branch found Towns on a backside run with a gorgeous chip pass.
From there, Fairmont Senior’s offensive attacks flowed.
Cecil capped a tic-tac-toe passing sequence in the 17th minute that pinged the ball from FSHS’s backline to Towns to Flower and then to Cecil for a 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper. Seven minutes later, Cecil scored again, this time more on his own merit as he made a heck of a play to tap a chip pass to himself and fire in a quick bang-band sequence.
Jones and Flower added two more first half goals thereafter again by attacking with runs down the right flank. Jones scored directly off a run when he ran down a through ball and held off a Philip Barbour defender before putting it home. Then Flower scored on an outside-in pass from Duvert that again originated on the right flank to balloon the lead to 5-0.