Fairfield played its toughest high school football opponent of the season in Angola Friday night, but also had to battle a tougher foe — itself.

The Falcons won 26-7, but cost themselves at least three more touchdowns with turnovers and penalties. Fairfield lost three fumbles and an interception, and was whistled for seven penalties.

“We’ve preached all season that turnovers will make a difference in a game,” Fairfield coach Bob Miller said. “That’ll cost us a game down the road. You can’t do those things.”

Coming into the game, the Falcons had committed just one turnover all season, an interception on the last play of the first half last week.

Still, Miller gave the Hornets credit for being a strong team.

“They’re kind of a mirror image of us,” he said. “I thought our biggest challenge would be if we could stop them on offense. They’ve got a big offensive line, an outstanding quarterback and two outstanding running backs.

“I’m real happy with only seven points on the board.”

The Falcon starting defense played all four quarters for the first time this season, and came up with several big stops at critical moments.

“(Middle linebacker) Micah Noble played another good game,” Miller said. “We really challenged the defensive ends this week, and Kyle Cross and Dustin Graber really stepped up for us.”

Fairfield (6-0, 6-0 Northeast Corner Conference) visits Lakeland next Friday.

The offense again rested primarily on the shoulders of senior Alic Vanover. He rushed for 228 yards on 18 carries, caught a pass for 48 yards and returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown. He also had a punt return for a touchdown nullified by a penalty.

The Hornets were especially adept at the short passing game in the first half, and completed 15 of 30 passes for the game. But Angola also had penalty problems, losing 82 yards on 10 flags.

One of those penalties kept Fairfield from falling behind for the first time this season.

Angola sustained a long drive to start the first quarter, burning nearly eight minutes off the clock. A pass completion in the end zone appeared to put the Hornets on top, but a holding penalty canceled the touchdown.

The Falcon defense then forced a punt and took over on their own 20.

Vanover then put Fairfield on the board when he caught a short flip from quarterback Justin Scott, then used his speed to race 48 yards for the score.

An interception by Brock Vail at the end of the first quarter quickly put the Falcons back in scoring position, and Martin Lantz’s two-yard plunge gave Fairfield a 14-0 lead at the half.

Angola kicked off to start the third quarter to Isaiah Flora. Flora handed the ball on a reverse to Jacob Yoder, who then gave it to Vanover on the double reverse. Vanover sped down the sidelines for a 91-yard score.

A Falcon fumble and a penalty set up the Hornets’ only touchdown late in the third period giving them the ball on the Fairfield 11.

Two plays later Alexx Bauer tossed an eight-yard pass to Seth Fifer and the extra point made it 20-7.

Fairfield wasted little time getting that score back. Less than two minutes later Noble, playing fullback, took the handoff and found a huge lane off left tackle. He ran untouched 26 yards for the score.

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