Battle Of The Birds: Falcons overcome 14-point deficit to defeats Cardinals


  • screen shot 2023 10 25 at 4.28.31 pm
  • Kishman's
  • Crowl Interiors in Malvern, Ohio
  • screenshot 2024 02 07 at 5.11.09 pm
  • slam dunk
  • Daystar North Canton
  • Daystar Malvern
  • lifecare rotator ad

The Fairless Falcons stunned the Sandy Valley Cardinals Thursday night with a come-from-behind victory. 

It was all Sandy Valley in the first half, building a two score lead by halftime. 

Sandy Valley’s senior running back Ben Petro was a force to be reckoned with against in the season opener. Petro took handoff after handoff from his younger brother, sophomore quarterback Nick Petro. 

Ben capped off Sandy Valley’s opening 61-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run to give the visiting Cardinals a 7-0 lead with 7:32 left in the first quarter. He hit pay dirt again in the second quarter with another one-yard run, giving the Cardinals a 14-0 lead with under nine minutes left in the second quarter. 

The Falcons knocked on the door as the first half was closing. Fairless drove to Sandy Valley’s five-yard-line but could not score. They settled for a field goal attempt but it was blocked by Sandy Valley’s Brock Smith. 

The Cardinals held onto their 14-0 lead at halftime. 

Fairless QB Carson Colucci tossed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Brody Pumneo in the third quarter to cut Sandy Valley’s lead to 14-7. 

Ben Petro scored his third TD of the night on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 13-yard run. Sandy Valley’s lead was increased to 21-7.  It felt as if the game was over…but it was far from it. 

Colucci connected with Pumneo again to inch the Falcons back into the game. Sandy Valley led 21-14 with 6:01 left in regulation. 

The Fairless defense was stellar on the next possession, forcing a three-and-out and a punt. The Falcons got the ball in Sandy Valley territory at the 40. 

Colucci completed his third touchdown pass of the night to tie the game at 21. Luke Yoder hauled in the pass over the middle. 1:01 remained in the fourth quarter. 

The Cardinals didn’t have enough time to regain the lead in regulation. The Cardinals and Falcons were set for overtime. 

Sandy Valley had the first shot in overtime, and they got right to work. A few plays in and Ben Petro scored his fourth touchdown of the night.

Colucci and Pumneo struck again for the Falcons in overtime from 15 yards out. 

Fairless’ coaching staff took the biggest risk of the game, lining up for a win-or-go home two-point conversion. Campbell sent the Falcons’ crowd into a frenzy when he rushed in the two-point try to give the Falcons a 29-28 victory.

The Cardinals drop to 0-1 and Fairless moves to 1-0 on the season.