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Article updated: 10/20/2012 4:48 PM
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Fremd wings its way into playoffs
 

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Fremd wings its way into playoffs
Larry Weindruch

As Fremd's football team looks forward to the announcement of tonight's Class 8A football playoff pairings, it might want to think about adopting the motto of Mad Magazine character Alfred E. Newman, who led his fictional life with the philosophy of "What, me worry?"

The worrisome part for Fremd was winning its last two Mid-Suburban West games while running the single wing, an offense not seen in these parts in decades.

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The Vikings finished with wins in the last two weeks of the regular season to get to a 5-4 record (3-2 in the MSL West) and qualify for the playoffs.

On Friday, Fremd sealed that winning season and its postseason return (after missing out last year) by beating Hoffman Estates 42-7 before a senior night crowd at Hale Hildebrandt Field.

If you ask Vikings coach Lou Sponsel, the rest is gravy.

"There is no pressure on us," Sponsel said. "We're a 5-4 team. The pressure is on the 9-0 and 8-1 teams. We lost to four very good teams."

Fremd's run-first, pass-second offense racked up 342 yards on the ground and another 78 through the air. Jeff McGlade, who directed the single wing, carried 15 times for 155 yards and touchdowns of 24, 2, and 44 yards. Garrett Groot carried 3 times for 84 yards, including touchdowns of 19 and 40 yards.

Fremd's only passing score came on a 45 yard pass from Trever Cutler to Andrew Stark, who also kicked all 6 extra points and saw his 50-yard field goal attempt carom off the left upright as time expired in the first half.

Groot's last TD set the running clock in motion in the third quarter, and Hoffman got on the board with 5:12 left in the game when Eric Brooks found Mike Jackson in the end zone with a 14-yard pass.

Turnovers squelched two other Hoffman scoring drives, one on Jack Bossong's first of two interceptions, and another on a fumble recovered by Joseph Cox.

"Making the playoffs was our goal all season," Bossong said. "Everybody came together and said we weren't going to lose."

McGlade said the seniors took it upon themselves to make the goal a reality.

"It was all on the seniors," McGlade said. "We wanted to win for the seniors. Not making the playoffs last year left a bad feeling in our stomachs. We had to start a new era of 'Iron Will.'"

As for reverting back to a more traditional offensive look, don't count on it.

"We're a single wing football team," Sponsel said. "That's who we are, and we like who we are on offense."

As for Hoffman Estates (0-9, 0-5), coach Eric Ilich says his team has begun the process of rebuilding the program on the field, and the next several months off the field will be critical to future success.

"I'm proud of the way the seniors prepared each week," Ilich said. "I'd like to think they laid a foundation for preparation and accountability going forward.

"We've got some things to look forward to," Ilich said of successful sophomore (8-1) and freshman (5-4) teams. "Weightlifting and academics are important this off-season."

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