FAIRFIELD — For the last few years, the Eldorado-Fairfield matchup has been a deciding factor in the Black Diamond Conference race, and this year’s version was no different.
With a dominating win, the Mules clinched at least a share of the Black Diamond Conference championship, defeating Eldorado on Friday, 36-20.
The Mules dominated the first half. Fullback Dylan Heifner continually torched the Eldorado defense, as he went on to score the first touchdown for Fairfield. Reese Lee and Wyatt Gilbert would also add touchdowns in the first half for Fairfield, as the Mules took a 20-0 lead into halftime.
The third quarter went much the same for the Mules, as Gilbert completed the opening drive of the second half with his second score of the night for Fairfield.
But Eldorado would muster an answer despite second-half injuries. Jace Jenkins and Dawson Metten, the two leading scorers and yard earners for Eldorado, both left the game hobbled in the second half.
In spite of the challenges, Eldorado finally found the scoreboard when Aiden Whitlock connected with Joe Mayberry for a 30-yard score.
Fairfield tacked on to their lead when Lee found the end zone for the second time, but the shorthanded Eagles still made the Mules sweat out the final minutes.
The Eldorado defense recovered a bad long snap on a punt attempt for a touchdown. The Eagles turned another Fairfield fumble into a touchdown in the closing minutes but could score no more before the time expired.
Fairfield moved to 8-0 on the year and could clinch the conference title before the end of the weekend, if Sesser-Valier were to lost to Vienna-Goreville. The Mules will travel to Sesser next week to close out the season against the Red Devils.
Eldorado fell to 6-2 and is eliminated from the Black Diamond title chase. The Eagles will celebrate senior night next week at home against Johnston City.