COLUMBUS, Ohio - The magical 2013 season for the Fairfield Indians came to an end on Saturday night in Columbus as the Pickerington North Panthers knocked them out of the playoffs by handing the Indians a 20-10 defeat.
Fairfield (9-2) was making its first playoff appearance since 2005, but its stay in the postseason wouldn’t last long. The Indians turned the ball over five times (-3 margin) and converted just one of their 11 third-down attempts on a night where the offense struggled to move the chains.
The first touchdown of the night came from Pickerington North (10-1) when Zep Miller rushed for a 25-yard touchdown with 38 second left in the opening frame, but the Panthers failed to convert the PAT and led 6-0 after one quarter.
Pickerington North added a Karch Holland 42-yard field goal with just over three minutes left in the half to open a 9-0 advantage.
The Indians got all 10 of their points in the contest in the final 1:04 of the half. A Recoe Walker 1-yard TD run followed by a Ryan Nuss 26-yard field goal 50 seconds later gave Fairfield a 10-9 edge at the break.
The second half would belong to the home team. The Panthers would put the game away when Miller connected with Chris McDowell on a 74-yard scoring strike as the third quarter came to a close. Narch added a 25-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter to give Pickerington North a two-score advantage.
Neither Hunter Krause (7/18, 54 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT) nor Ryan Nuss (6/15, 111 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT) were able to get much going under center for Fairfield. Wide receiver Herman Brunis still managed to put together a solid stat line with four catches for 123 yards.
Pickerington North moves to face another GMC team, Colerain, at a neutral site to be announced on Sunday.