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Homecoming is usually a special night for football teams. Friday was extra-special for Vikings kicker Andrew Stark.
The senior booted 4 field goals and converted a first down on a fake punt to help Fremd (3-1) to a 33-14 win over visiting Hersey in Mid-Suburban League divisional crossover play.
Stark, who has numerous Division I schools pursuing him, split the uprights from 44, 36, 43 and 35 yards. Each one could have been good from at least another 10 yards.
"They have one heck of a kicker," Hersey coach Dragan Teonic said of Stark. "He's their best player."
And just to prove he can do more than just kick the ball, Stark picked up a first down with a 31-yard run on a fake punt. His 36-yarder capped off the drive to cut Hersey's lead to 7-6 with 6:39 to play in the first half.
Hersey (2-2) grabbed a 7-0 lead when quarterback Jack Warner scored from 2 yards out on the Huskies' first drive.
Hersey was driving on its second possession as well, but Nathan Notaro batted down Warner's pass on at the goal line on fourth down.
"That was huge," Vikings coach Lou Sponsel said. "Our defense was making adjustments on the fly. We needed them to step up there, so that was huge."
The Huskies elected to go for 6 instead of attempt an 18-yard field that would have stretched the lead to 10-3.
Another gaffe by Hersey came late in the first half.
Starting from its own 20 with 1:45 on the clock and out of timeouts, Hersey was unable to pick up a first down. To add insult to injury, only 41 seconds eclipsed from the clock.
Fremd got the ball back on the Hersey 35. Six plays later signal-caller Sam Beutler hooked up with Daniel Montgomery from 19 yards out to make it 20-7 just before the half.
"This game is on me," Teonic said of the play-calling. "We need to do a better job as a coaching staff. We made some mistakes."
The Vikings opened the second half with a 15-play drive that chewed up 5:48 off the game clock. The drive ended with Stark's third field goal of the game to make it 23-7.
After an interception by Garrett Groot, Stark booted his fourth and final FG of the game to make it 26-7 with 2:09 left in the third.
"As a kicker it's really just a big mental part of the game," Stark said of his FGs. "I just focused on my fundamentals and came through. You can't think of the negatives out there."
Notaro capped off the scoring on the night for the Vikings with a plunge from 4-yards out to make it 33-7 with 2:43 to play in the game.
In addition to Stark's heroics, running back Jeff McGlade racked up 114 yards on the ground for the Vikings. McGlade picked up 87 of his yards in the second half and finished off each run by punishing Hersey defenders.
"Jeff really ran with a purpose tonight," Sponsel said. "Especially in the second half. He had a good game."
Warner led Hersey with 241 yards through the air by completing 15 of 22 passes and 1 TD.
"I was proud of the Huskies tonight," Teonic said in the losing effort. "Our staff feels like if that team over there (Fremd) isn't playing for the 8A state finals, something isn't right."