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Prep football: Farmington defeats Syracuse to win 6th straight

By Chad Pritchett - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Oct 13, 2021

FARMINGTON — As it turned out, the Region 1 championship was decided all the way back on September 3.

After Weber squeaked past Farmington that day, 38-35, in a game that went down to the wire, the Phoenix were left to chase the Warriors in the standings.

Weber never flinched, but neither did Farmington, as the Phoenix rolled off five straight victories following a 1-3 start. The run wasn’t enough to earn the league title, but it did provide Farmington with some much-needed momentum heading into the state playoffs and the hope of a first-round bye.

The Phoenix tacked on its sixth straight win Wednesday night by dealing a 24-14 defeat to the visiting Syracuse Titans in the regular-season finale.

The season swung the opposite direction for the Titans. After bursting out of the gate with a 4-0 preseason record against mostly solid competition, Syracuse dropped its first region game to Weber as well (34-32) and heads into the postseason having lost four of its last six outings.

“We need (the first-round bye),” Farmington’s Kenyon Brown said. “All of our guys are beaten down, so our motivation tonight was coming out here, getting our six-win streak and getting that bye, which we really need next week.”

Both squads came away with points out of the gate.

Farmington took the opening kickoff and moved to the Syracuse 13 before settling for a 30-yard Gavin Jensen field goal.

Syracuse then responded with a nine-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by a 9-yard Daxton Faddis touchdown run.

“We came out here and struggled a little bit in the first half,” Brown said. “They scored first and then we just came out here, trusted in the process and kept fighting and we know we’re going to keep rolling.”

Following a series of punts, the Phoenix slowly wrestled control of the game. A Dayton Runyan interception on the Syracuse side of the field kicked things off. Farmington cashed the possession in for a 1-yard Brown touchdown plunge at the 7:21 mark of the second quarter.

Brown then kept himself in the action by blocking a Syracuse punt to give the Phoenix the ball at the Titan 22. Five plays later, the senior bowled into the end zone, again from the 1, for his second drive-finisher of the half to put Farmington up 17-7 at the break.

The turnover-plagued game featured six interceptions, four of which came from the Farmington defense, which buckled down after the opening Syracuse drive.

Consecutive interceptions commenced the second half, but neither squad could convert the opportunities into points. Finally, with 5:08 to play, Farmington inserted the dagger on another Brown touchdown run. He put the Phoenix up 24-7 with a 48-yard run and finished the evening with 157 yards on 28 carries to go with his three touchdowns.

“Tons of turnovers tonight and that’s what wins games,” Brown added. “Our defense is coming out here game after game making turnovers and that’s what’s putting our games in a good position, so our offense can drive down and score. Our defense has been balling.”

Syracuse found the end zone again in the waning minutes on a 5-yard Jake Hopkins to Dylan Croxford completion. The Titans then forced Farmington to punt, however, Luke Hansen intercepted Hopkins at the Farmington 16 to seal the contest.

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