By SCOTT JACKSON Courier sports writer
---- — FAIRFIELD — He did it again.
For the third consecutive week, freshman quarterback Cameron Baumann played like an all-state upperclassmen. Baumann contributed on six Fairfield touchdowns, throwing three scoring passes while running for three more in the second half to rally the Trojans from a 28-20 deficit as Fairfield outscored Centerville 26-3 down the stretch to earn an important 46-31 Class 3A, District 7 victory on Friday.
Coming on for Jordan Whitney three weeks ago to start against Mount Pleasant, Baumann has sparked the Trojans to plenty of points and three straight wins. Fairfield needed every last bit of offense to outgun Centerville, who rallied behind a back-up sophomore quarterback who was making his first varsity start.
With record-breaking senior signal caller Michael Starcevich out following a concussion suffered last week at Carlisle, Tate Felton seemed poised to keep the Big Reds from missing a beat on Friday. Felton guided Centerville to four touchdown drives, throwing two second-quarter touchdown passes including a great leaping catch by Kolton Gonnerman from 15 yards out to tie the game at 14-14 at the half.
Felton threw for 249 yards in his first ever start, hitting 20 of 35 passes while rushing for 44 additional yards. Grant Walker, who carried the ball 17 times for 99 yards, put Centerville ahead on a 65-yard touchdown run one play after Fairfield snapped the 14-14 tie with an Alex Shier 13-yard scoring catch.
Graydon Schmidt, who scored the first touchdown of the night on a seven-yard pass, then ran in from 35 yards out on Centerville’s next drive to put the Big Reds up 28-20 in the third quarter. Baumann, who accounted for 329 total yards of offense, went to work on the ground by completing a much-needed scoring drive with a three-yard touchdown run to pull Fairfield within 28-26 heading to the fourth.
Baumann kept right on lead the Fairfield charge. A second straight scoring drive was again capped by a touchdown run from the freshman as a seven-yard run put Fairfield up for good at 32-28.
Baumann’s third touchdown, from three yards out, followed Brent Jackson’s 35-yard field goal to extend the Trojan lead to 39-31. Looking for a score to tie the game, Felton instead found Fairfield’s Alex Christensen who ran 60 yards untouched after the interception for the final touchdown of the night to clinch the Trojans’ third straight win.
Fairfield (4-4, 3-3) will step out of district next Friday for a matchup with Chariton. The victory, and the 15-point margin, means the Trojans will make the playoffs if either postseason-bound Centerville (4-4, 3-2) loses to sixth-ranked Washington or Keokuk falls to Fort Madison next Friday.
“I got to give a lot of credit to my teammates,” Baumann said while standing next to Vince Horras, who caught two touchdown passes from the freshman. “Guys like Vince are so great. He’s so tall. It’s great to play with guys like that.”
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