FISHER — Tim O’Halloran made his way to the Bunnie Trail on Saturday.
Better known as Edgy Tim — one of the state’s authorities on high school football and recruiting — O’Halloran’s full-time job the last eight years has been his prep football website, which last year had 25 million page views. On a message board, a suggestion was made that he “adopt” a Class 1A team to follow on a yearly basis.
“It was put to a vote, and here I am,” Edgy Tim said from the sidelines of Keller Field.
The unbeaten Bunnies doubled their victory total from last fall with a 22-16 win against a Dakota program with multiple state championships. Though he primarily follows schools in classes 5A through 8A, Edgy Tim enjoyed his trip to Fisher.
“Coming out here reminds me of why I got started,” he said. “You can find talent at any level.”
Fisher senior lineman Josh Wallick joined his cohorts to make sure none of the team’s 27 first-half running plays lost yards.
“We wanted to put together one of the best teams Fisher has ever had,” Wallick said.
Fisher coach Matt Leng wasn’t joking when he listed one of the game’s keys: “The most important part was the coin toss, and we got the ball.”
Quarterback Brody Farrar directed a seven-play scoring drive, all on the ground, which resulted in four first downs. Less than 4 minutes into the game, the Bunnies had a 7-0 lead they never lost when Conrad Thomas scored on a 6-yard third-down run and Hunter Lowry converted the placement.
After a three-and-done sequence for Dakota — in which Wallick had two tackles for loss — the Bunnies used the remainder of the opening period on a scoring drive that ended 11 seconds into the second quarter on Aaron Carter’s 2-yard run.
At that point, Fisher had 10 first downs. Dakota had none.
“We’ve been getting out of the gate pretty good and in the first quarter, we got the momentum going. We came out firing,” Leng said.
It didn’t stay that way.
“All of a sudden, they responded,” said Zach Hatfill, another of the unheralded offensive linemen. “After that, every down was a dogfight and it was hard-nosed.”
Fisher couldn’t rest easy until Dakota (1-3) turned the ball over on downs at the Fisher 29 with 1:12 remaining.
Fisher had no turnovers and three penalties. Four Bunnies carried the ball at least eight times, helping the team gain 208 of its 269 yards on the ground. Farrar completed 5 of 8 passes for 61 yards.
“Every stat the running backs get, that’s on us,” Wallick said. “We help them get that.”
Carter gained 59 yards, Pettenger rushed for 55, Rogers had 44 and Thomas ended with 35. Pettenger scored the clinching TD on a third-down reverse after a timeout with 9:30 remaining.
Jacob Franklin had 12 tackles. Thomas had 11 stops, Hayden Fiedler had eight and Farrar seven.
Leng’s pregame message was for each player to focus on his responsibilities: “I told them, ‘Whatever your role is, do it your best for the next 48 minutes.’ ”
Urbana 50, Lanphier 0. Alex Beckman completed 17 of 30 passes for 371 yards and six touchdowns as the Tigers romped at home. The game was scheduled to be played Friday in Springfield but moved when officials did not show up.
Tanner Russell had 128 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
A-L/A-H 45, Big Rock 0. Cody Sebens returned an interception for a touchdown and Tyler Schuring and Logan West also picked off passes for the visiting Knights. Jordan Feagin and Schuring each had long TD plays to spark the offense.
“Defensively, we were very sharp,” A-L/A-H coach Dale Schuring said.