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updated: 10/30/2010 12:23 AM

Fremd, Wallace overpower Evanston

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By Greg Swiderski

Evanston's defense just had no answer for Fremd's offensive line and running back Justin Wallace.

With Wallace rushing 43 times for 294 yards and 3 touchdowns the 10th-seeded Vikings knocked off the 7th seeded Wildkits Friday night in Evanston in a Class 8A first-round playoff football game.

"This win just feels great," said Wallace. "We just have to take them one at a time and not get too excited. Even when we were 1-4 we never stopped believing in ourselves.

"We made some mistakes in those early games. As a team we had to execute better. A lot of credit has to go to the offensive line"

Things didn't start out well for the Vikings, who will play the winner of today's Loyola-Whitney Young game next weekend.

The 6-4 Wildkits took the opening kickoff and marched 74 yards in 11 plays to score on the first of quarterback Byron Dawkins (11-for-16, 116 yards, 2 interceptions) two touchdown passes to James Brown.

The Vikings countered with a 78-yard, 10-play drive, culminating with Wallace's 11 yard run with 1:00 left in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7.

A fumble recovery by Evanston's Chris Wideman at the Fremd 18 led to another Dawkins to Brown touchdown on first down. The extra point kick failed and the Wildkits led 13-7 with 6:43 left.

Fremd took the lead with 47 seconds left in the first half on a Wallace 26-yard run to finish a 65 yard drive. Andrew Stark connected on the extra point and the Vikings never trailed again.

The defense stood tall in the second half with two interceptions. A pick by Vincent Farella set up Wallace's third touchdown with 4:38 left in the third quarter. Wallace rushed 8 times for all 86 yards of the drive and a 21-13 lead.

Stark would connect on a 36-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.

"We went to this offense in the fifth week of the season," said Fremd coach Mike Donatucci. "I knew early in the season that this team would be better later in the season than earlier.

"And Wallace, he's smart. A 34 ACT, a 4.7 GPA, he coaches youth football and you couldn't ask for a better individual on your team. This was really a good win for us"

The experience of the offensive line has helped the turnaround.

"With experience and playing together we have really bonded as an offensive line," said center Brian Bobek. "I never had a doubt that we could turn this around. Tonight we just wanted to pound the ball and control their defense."

The offensive line of Bobek, Evan Schaeffer, Levi Jorgenson, Nick Loden and Jerod Mikkelsen along with blocking back Daniel Muehfeldt helped Fremd amassed 282 rushing yards. Evanston could run only 17 second-half plays and four in the fourth quarter.

"This offensive line has really become the heart and soul of this team," said Donatucci.

Highly-touted running back Rendell Massie was limited to 84 yards in 19 attempts.

"We knew it would be their physical line play against our speed," said Evanston coach Mike Burzawa. "We knew we couldn't make many errors. We didn't have too many possessions in the second half."