Vandalia scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and went on to defeat Fairfield, 41-14, Saturday in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs.

The Mules entered the game with a record of 9-0, and they had allowed just 36 points all season. But Vandalia proved to be too much.

“We knew going in that they were a very good offensive team,” said Fairfield coach Justin Townsend. “They were pretty big and physical. They had several guys over 280 or 290. We hadn’t seen an offensive or defensive line that size all year. They were easily the best offensive team we’d seen.”

Trevor Smalls rushed for 275 yards for Vandalia, which took a 27-8 advantage into halftime.

“Their running back was an absolute stud,” Townsend said. “But a lot of it goes back to our offense, and we didn’t do what we needed to do. Our defense was on the field way too much today.”

Lance Jolly and Theron Stewart each scored rushing touchdowns for the Mules. But Fairfield fell behind by so much it had to start throwing the ball a lot.

“We don’t like to throw the ball 25 times a game,” Townsend said. “But the score kind of dictated the way that we had to play offensively. We like to run the ball and control the clock. But we were fighting an uphill battle. I have to give Vandalia a lot of credit. They are very good.”

Fairfield finished its season at 9-1 and as the outright champions of the Black Diamond Conference.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this group,” Townsend said. “Going 9-0 in the regular season had never been done here. It is disappointing that it ended this early, but they’ve got nothing to hang their heads about.”

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scott.mees@thesouthern.com

On Twitter: @SIPrepSports

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Sports reporter

Scott Mees is a sports reporter for The Southern Illinoisan covering prep sports.

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