The Indians had just two first downs to 21, and 44 yards of total offense to the Red Devils’ 395.
However, the one set of numbers that won’t be found on any stat sheets is just as important as any of the aforementioned numbers: 14-1.
That’s the number of years for the two coaches — Fyffe’s Paul Benefield and Ohatchee’s Jason Howard — at the respective schools.
“It takes years to establish a program and get kids strong and believing in your program and the hard work,” Benefield said. “He’ll get there, it just takes time.”
Ohatchee isn’t that far behind. With good size on its roster and two victories this season, the Indians have proved they’re not the bottom dwellers, but getting from where they are to the top of the region — where those teams are perennial playoff powers — is more than a one-year job.
That message was not lost on Howard.
“We played a team tonight that was well coached,” he said. “We played a team tonight that was stronger than we were, faster than we were.
“That takes years of having the same people being in place with a weight program, football program and everything.”
Ohatchee’s loss was not as instantaneous as it was thorough.
The Tribe trailed 21-0 at the half, and Fyffe only continued to pile on more of the same in the second half.
Fyffe kept making sizeable, but not gaudy, steady gains throughout the night. Five yards, 9 yards, 4 yards and every so often they’d break a run in the neighborhood of 20 yards.
Ohatchee’s defense would force the Red Devils to third and fourth downs, even, but more often than not, Fyffe would find a way out of it.
The Red Devils’ first drive of the second half was a perfect picture of that.
They went to third down three times, and even converted on a fourth down. Even the touchdown came on third-and-goal from the 5, a play-action pass found David Strange behind the secondary in the end zone.
Fyffe’s second touchdown of the second half came on a modest 5-yard run and an interception return for a touchdown by Coby Boyd halted Ohatchee’s hopes of busting up the shutout.
Through it all, though, Howard found positives in the loss.
“I think it makes us better,” he said. “Anytime you play a team like that it makes you better.
“I hope our kids see and get an idea what the little things we’ve been trying to preach to them, that the little things really do matter.”
Looking to get back to .500, Ohatchee hits the road next week, but it won’t be the road trip the Indians have gotten used to this season. The Indians only head up Highway 431 just apiece to take on Pleasant Valley, one of only two Calhoun county schools they’ll play this season.
Bran Strickland is the sports editor for The Star. He can be reached 235-3570.