Hoffman Estates wasn't expecting an easy game from Fremd on Friday night, and the Vikings lived up to the billing before the Hawks (7-1, 4-1) prevailed over the visiting Vikings 30-14 in Mid-Suburban West play.
"We knew Fremd was better than a 1-6 team and they would be physical," said Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse.
The Hawks had a 9-play drive for their opening possession and marched 86 yards for the night's first score. Will Nune caught a 17-yard pass from Austin Coalson on third-and-goal. Konnor Lancor was successful with the point after.
The Vikings bounced right back and knotted the score at 7-7 when junior running back Nick Rattin took off on a 29 yard run around right end. Matt Mottonen made the kick for Fremd.
The Vikings took a 14-7 lead on the first play of the second quarter after Andrew Saxe hooked up with Ben Konopka for a 67-yard scoring strike. Mottonen converted the point after.
Hoffman settled in and was productive on both second quarter possessions. Jaylin Johnson was the workhorse on the first possession as he rushed for 62 of the 78 yards in the 12 play scoring drive. Lancor converted the point after.
On its next possession the Hawks needed only 8 plays to march 58 yards. Coalson accumulated 51 yards on the ground and air before Johnson scored on a 3-yard run to give Hoffman a 21-14 lead at the half.
The third quarter had a good-news, bad-news sequence for the Vikings. Rattin picked off Coalson at the Vikings 1-yard line on third down. A delay of game penalty moved the ball back to the 1-foot line and the Hawks line blew up the Vikings for a safety on the ensuing play to take a 23-14 lead.
Clevontae Jackson picked off Saxe to give Hoffman the ball at its own 3-yard line. The Hawks marched 97 yards on 15 plays before senior Shawn Brown scored from 3-yards out on a pass from Coalson. The kick was good.
"We had a couple of devastating injuries tonight and the backups lived up to the next man up philosophy," Heyse said. "We played hard all night and knew we would have a battle on our hands."
The Vikings had a couple of chances in the final three minutes but couldn't come up with any points.
"There are so many little things on offense that can make a difference for moving the chains and scoring points," said Fremd coach Lou Sponsel. "The defense played well tonight even though the score doesn't show it. They kept us in the game but we just need to work on the little things on offense."
Hoffman Estates plays at Palatine in Week 9 in a matchup that will decide second place in the MSL West, while Fremd plays host to Schaumburg.