"Greg really had a nice game," Boyle coach Chuck Smith said. "We expect that. So does he. He's not had a bad year, but he's not been the big-play guy we thought he would be. Having him play like this makes a big difference for us."
Smith throws for 244 yards
Brandon Smith became the first area player ever to go over the 10,000-yard total offense mark in the game. He completed 16 of 25 passes for 244 yards and two scores and ran three times for 17 yards and one score. He now has 10,103 total yards, 105 touchdown passes and 38 rushing touchdowns.
The senior quarterback, a three-year starter, also increased his career passing yardage to 7,941 yards and will only need 59 yards against Waggener in round two of the playoffs to become the first area player to reach 8,000 yards and only the 10th in state history.
"It's a great honor to have 10,000 yards," he said. "I didn't really know how close I was to 10,000 or even how many players have ever done it."
"That's a lot of yards, but he's had good players around him, too," Chuck Smith said. "We're really proud of him. I know stats don't mean as much to him as state championships, but he's had a great career and we hope he has more left in him."
The Rebels scored on three of their first four first-half possessions and may have gone 4-for-4 if a pass had not deflected off Peck to Fairdale's Chauncey Deal for an interception.
Boyle (9-2) drove 60 yards in six plays to open the game. Smith, who completed his first six passes, had a 24-yard pass to Peck that set up his own 1-yard scoring run. A 20-yard pass to running back Quinn Givhan was the big play in a 10-play, 45-yard drive where the Rebels overcame two penalties to score on Smith's 3-yard run.
Givhan gains 114 yards
Givhan, who ran for 114 yards and two scores and caught four passes for 44 yards, tallied on a 1-yard run to give Boyle a 21-0 lead late in the first half.
Fairdale's only offense came on a 20-yard run by Nick Kerney out of punt formation. The next play Seth Tamme picked off Fairdale quarterback Kyle Stallcup's pass and returned it 60 yards for an apparent score. However, a roughing the passer penalty on Boyle wiped out the play.
"We started a little slow, but blowouts are rare in the playoffs. Nothing comes easy at this time of the year for anybody," Chuck Smith said. "Our defense was solid and those early scores put Fairdale in a hole."
That's because Fairdale (5-6) wanted to depend solely on running back Maurice Grinter, who will play for the University of Louisville next year. He ran 22 times for 93 yards but had seven carries for 1 yard or less.
The Rebels easily put the game away in third quarter starting with Peck's long run.
"That was a reverse we hadn't run for a few games," Peck said. "I had to make a lot of cuts, but I had a nice hole to run through."
"He is extremely athletic and just gives us another deadly weapon," Brandon Smith said. "He showed tonight what he can do. When we can unleash him, it just makes us that much harder to stop."
Brandon Smith, who had thrown 10 touchdown passes the previous two games, hit Evan Teague with a 3-yard scoring pass after Fairdale fumbled the kickoff and then unloaded a 56-yard strike to Seth Tamme two plays after Casey Brummett's interception.
"I was kind of disappointed in the way I threw the ball overall, but it was good enough to beat Fairdale," Brandon Smith said. "Our offensive line played well and Quinn made some really nice runs."
"We just knew we had to control the line and not let them have the ball unless we score," Boyle lineman Brandon Record said. "At this time of year, the line has to take control of the game."
Waggener is next
Boyle will host Waggener (10-1), a 24-21 winner over Pulaski County in the first round, this week in search of its 27th straight playoff victory.
"Ever since we lost to Highlands, we have known we had to pick up our level of play," Peck said. "We don't want to let the players down who have won state championships the last five years. We want to keep the streak going and to do that, we had to pick up our play."
"The competition gets better every week now. Hopefully, we will get better, too, because that's what it takes to make sure you keep advancing and moving on," Chuck Smith said.