"He has nice balance and runs hard," Boyle coach Chuck Smith said. "He can be a spark for us, and was tonight."
The win puts Boyle, which has won four straight state titles and 69 of its last 71 games, into the second round against Pulaski Southwestern here this Friday. Southwestern, which lost 38-3 to Boyle during the season, rallied to beat Central 20-19.
"All I know is that we've got a lot of work to do," Smith said. "We've got to get sharper. We didn't make good decisions on offense early. We had way too many penalties. We've got to focus on things we can control instead of worrying about what the officials call and what the weather is like. We can't control officiating and we don't need to open our mouths like we did at times tonight."
Boyle's defense overwhelmed Fairdale, which brought a four-game win streak into the playoffs. The Bulldogs managed just 109 total yards - and 65 came on one second-half run by Maurice Ginter. The Rebels had nine tackles for loss, recovered three fumbles and intercepted one pass.
"Our defense played good the whole game," Smith said. "That No. 11 (Ginter) is really a good back. We knew they could not throw the ball very well. But we just got up and played good defense."
Boyle's offense was in position to score on all six first-half possessions. Five of them started on Fairdale's half of the field and the other one started at the Boyle 43. However, the Rebels had trouble taking advantage of those scoring chances.
The first drive ended with a 15-yard scoring run by Givhan, who bounced off two would-be tacklers.
"I had a big hole," Givhan said.
Givhan recovered a fumble on Boyle's short kickoff, but the Rebels couldn't pick up a first down. The next series ended with a 28-yard missed field goal by Adam Dickinson.
The Rebels needed 14 plays to move 57 yards - and overcome three penalties for 30 yards - to score on a 13-yard run by Danny Commarford, who carried defenders with him the final five yards into the end zone.
Rebels' defense got next two scores
The Rebels' defense got the next two scores. Boyle got a safety when Brandon Record and Brandon Smith combined to tackle Fairdale quarterback Will Smith in the end zone 3 minutes, 21 seconds before halftime.
Commarford tackled Fairdale punter Casey Jones at the 14-yard line after Jones fielded a low snap. Three plays later Brandon Smith patiently waited for Seth Tamme to break open in the end zone for a touchdown and 21-0 halftime advantage. The Boyle quarterback was 11-for-21 passing for 176 yards and Tamme had four of those catches for 58 yards.
"That safety and touchdown were big," Chuck Smith said. "It kind of took their hope away."
If it didn't, Boyle's 68-yard drive to start the third quarter certainly did. Givhan, who had five runs of 10 or more yards, scored on a 10-yard run. Less than five minutes later, Brandon Smith hit Ian Loughry with a 16-yard scoring strike for a 34-0 lead. Loughry had three catches for 44 yards in the third period.
"He's just now getting back to full speed after missing most of the season with a knee injury," the Boyle coach said. "That's a big help to us."
It's an added bonus because junior Evan Teague, a starting receiver and linebacker, missed Friday's game due to illness. Chuck Smith said he'll return to the doctor Monday, but could be out again next week if he does have mononucleosis.
"It's a big loss, but we have to go on and hope for the best," Chuck Smith said.
Brad Cloud's interception set up Givhan's third score, a 3-yard run late in period three, and Fairdale's fumble positioned the Rebels to get their final touchdown on a 14-yard run by Brandon Smith late in the fourth period.
"Their speed gave us some problems early in the game," Givhan said. "It just took us some time to adjust to their defense. I knew the coaches would get us going and that once we quit making mistakes we would be fine.
"We're not close to where we need to be yet, but at least we won. Now we have another week to get ready to play a lot better than we did tonight."