It seemed more like an escape than a 24-21 win for Fremd at Glenbrook South Friday night in a nonconference thriller.
"We were out-coached and out-played," said Fremd coach Lou Sponsel. "I think we all learned a valuable lesson tonight, and that is we can not be complacent. We were lucky we had some early breaks fall our way."
The biggest break was when senior defensive back Jake Haas intercepted Glenbrook South quarterback Jeffrey Chones' pass in the left corner of the end zone with 12 seconds to play.
"I just read the play well and stepped in front of the receiver," Haas said. "The defensive line put a good rush on their quarterback. For us it was a 'bend but not break' defense. We learned tonight that we have to stay on top of our game."
After the Vikings (3-1) went up 3-0 on a 26-yard field goal by Luke Schoffstall following the opening kickoff, Fremd received a gift from the hard-luck 0-4 Titans.
Strong Vikings defensive pressure forced junior punter Andy Sirakides' punt to travel 11 yards, going out of bounds at the GBS 41.
Quarterback Tom Josten tossed a 41-yard touchdown pass to Mitch Kazmer on the first play from scrimmage.
Following Schoffstall's extra-point kick, Fremd led 10-0 with 5:49 left in the first quarter.
"That gave our offense some momentum at the start of the game," said running back Alec Honickel.
Honickel rushed 24 times for 173 yards, including a third-quarter touchdown run of 7 yards with 5:16 left for a 24-13 lead.
Honickel had a big carry on the play for 25 yards, on which he was sprung by a block from Austin Schwantz.
"Over the last three games Schwantz has really been blocking well for us," said Sponsel. "He's become better each game."
The Titans, who have lost to three unbeaten teams in Barrington, St. Patrick and Palatine, pulled to within 24-21 with 6:09 left in the game.
Ethan Hague, who scored all three of Glenbrook South's touchdowns, ran the ball in from the 4-yard line with 6:09 left in the game.
A fumble by Honickel at the Fremd 43 and the recovery by Jake Smiley set up the score.
Glenbrook South's last shot came when the Vikings turned the ball over on downs at the Titans 31 with 1:53 left.
The Titans were at Fremd's 8-yard line but a bad snap from center and a fumble by Chrones put the ball back on the 19.
The next play, Haas intercepted.
Hague led the Titans with 89 yards on 21 attempts including a 4-yard pass from Chrones who was 11-for-20 with 2 interceptions for 120 yards. David Maglore rushed 19 times for 88 yards.
Fremd rushed for 183 yards and Josten was 9-for-12 for 143 yards.
"I'm happy with the win, but unhappy with my fumble," Honickel said. "I've learned over the past few weeks to play 100 percent for my team."