The team relied heavily on Dustin Ingram, who had 23 carries for 189 yards and two touchdowns. His performance in the game carried him to exactly the 1,000 yard mark for the season.
“I can’t say enough about Dustin Ingram,” Fayetteville head coach John Limbaugh said. “He’s a sophomore tailback, a great kid, and his work ethic in the weight room is unbelievable. He’s a kid that wants it; he’s hungry. I’m just so proud of him.”
FarmLinks Field was filled with pink, as the team, cheerleaders and fans wore pink for Breast Cancer Awareness night.
“They are the most wonderful fans in the world, a lot of support out of them,” Limbaugh said of the Fayetteville faithful. “We’re just trying to put something out there that makes our fans proud of us.”
Verbena won the coin toss, chose to receive and actually got on the scoreboard first on their first drive. On a triple option play, quarterback Jared Mims faked a handoff to Morris Sanders, scrambled out of the pocket, before pitching the ball to Christian Agee, who took it 57 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was blocked to give the Red Devils an early 6-0 lead.
Fayetteville (5-1, 3-1) answered on their ensuing drive. Ingram had carries of 25 yards and 24 yards to move the Wolves down the field. Tyari Powell-Welch scored on a quarterback sneak for a four-yard touchdown. Jacob Skinner’s PAT attempt was wide right to make it 6-6.
Verbena regained the lead on their next drive. Mims finished things off with a four-yard run for a touchdown. Mims also ran the ball in for the two-point conversion to give Verbena a 14-6 lead.
“They showed a lot of grit and determination,” Limbaugh said of Verbena. “They scored right out of the gate. Our defense had to fight back and get ready to stop them because they were doing some really nice things against us. I appreciate coach (Mike) Harris, a class act. Verbena, they’ll be all right.
“It was a good win here at home to get us back in the region, a good region win. We’re just looking for that next one. This team has goals in mind. We’re trying to do some new things here.”
Fayetteville answered on the ensuing kickoff. Powell-Welch fielded the ball around the 29-yard line, ran toward the middle of the field, before cutting back toward the Verbena sideline where there was a big opening, and Powell-Welch managed to take it 78 yards for a touchdown. Powell-Welch ran right for a successful two-point conversion to tie it 14-14.
Fayetteville was able to stop Verbena on the next defensive drive.
On the ensuing Fayetteville offensive drive, Powell-Welch found a leaping Zane McGrady for a 22-yard gain to get the Wolves inside the red zone. Ingram finished the drive by cutting left for a 10-yard touchdown. On the two-point conversion, Powell-Welch was flushed out of the pocket toward the Verbena sideline, but he found McGrady for a successful conversion to make it 22-14.
Turnovers proved to be costly for Verbena. Mims fumbled the ball, but Verbena’s Bryan Raspberry recovered the ball. On the following play, Steve Brasher had a quarterback sack that was so jarring it knocked the ball loose and Brasher recovered, giving the Wolves the ball at the 8-yard line.
Ingram had another touchdown with a run to the left side of the field, this one from eight yards out. Powell-Welch received a direct snap and ran the ball in on the two-point conversion to push the lead to 30-14.
Verbena once again fumbled and Fayetteville recovered the fumble. Powell-Welch scored on a quarterback keeper for a two-yard touchdown and punched in the two-point conversion from two yards out to give Fayetteville a 38-14 lead.
The Fayetteville defense seemed to have the Verbena option offense figured out, getting another defensive stop just before halftime.
On the opening kickoff of the second half, Payton Mckee scored a touchdown on a 68-yard kickoff return. The PAT was no good, making it 44-14.
Powell-Welch had another impressive touchdown when he rolled left to avoid getting sacked by a Verbena defensive end, then found some space and managed to elude traffic, breaking multiple tackles and winding up on the opposite side of the field’s vacant end zone for a 41-yard touchdown run. The team ran a screen play for the two-point conversion, but the receiver dropped the pass. At that point, Fayetteville held a 50-14 lead.
Verbena was able to cut the lead to 50-20 when Agee scored on a 32-yard touchdown run. Mims tried to run in the two-point conversion, but was stopped short by Austin Brasher.
CJ Townsend had the only score of the fourth quarter with a 36-yard touchdown run.
“It was a good win here at home to get us back in the region, a good region win,” Limbaugh said. “We’re just looking for that next one. This team has goals in mind. We’re trying to do some new things here.”