Fremd was in unfamiliar territory entering its game at Buffalo Grove on Thursday.
The Vikings limped in with an 0-3 record. The defense was giving up 25.6 points per game and the offense was sputtering with 11 turnovers.
But Fremd got back on track.
Senior running back Justin Wallace rushed for 166 yards and 1 touchdown, leading visiting Fremd (1-3) to a 26-14 Mid-Suburban League crossover victory at Buffalo Grove.
The Vikings' offense had no turnovers, and the defense limited Buffalo Grove, which was missing its starting quarterback Mike Garrity due to a concussion, to 227 total yards.
In the process the Vikings and their faithful were able to let out a big sigh of relief in stopping its 3-game slide.
"It consumes you," said Fremd coach Mike Donatucci of the Vikings 0-for start. "You're looking under rocks, you're looking everywhere trying to find the right combination. I'm just very grateful our kids stepped it up and got it done tonight."
Wallace had runs of 11 and 22 yards in setting up Fremd's first score, a 14-yard toss from freshman quarterback Sam Beutler to Jeff Diegel on the opening play of the second quarter.
The senior running back then added a 1-yard plunge in giving the Vikings a 13-0 advantage with 2:56 remaining in the first half.
"Our line did a heck of job," said Wallace who had 88 yards rushing in the first half. "There were some wide-open holes. The will has always been there - we just didn't execute in the first three games."
The offensive line consisting of senior Brian Bobek, senior Evan Schaeffer, junior Nicholas Loden, senior Brian Gienko, junior Levi Jorgenson, senior Jack Konopka, senior Jerod Mikkelsen and senior Charles Mau paved the way for a rushing attack that gained 239 yards.
The line also did a nice job of protecting Beutler, who saw his first extended action. The freshman, who relieved starting quarterback Rich Concialdi after the opening series, completed 8-of-11 passes for 139 yards and also scored the Vikings' final touchdown on a 1-yard dive.
"We talked before the game that we needed to be the Fremd offensive line of the past," said Bobek, "The past O-lines have always been tough and we wanted to continue that tradition. We were kind of a backed into a corner and we had to fight our way out of it."
A.J. McGee (11 rushes, 66 yards) scored on 25-yard run, giving the Vikings a commanding 20-0 lead with 6:04 left in the third quarter. Defensively, Vincent Farella had 2 interceptions for the Vikings.
Buffalo Grove (2-2) was not only was missing Garrity, but also running back Taylor Goyke and center Trevor Chandler.
Junior Rich Zirngibl filled in for Garrity, completing 11 of 22 passes for 113 yards. He hit Brian Akialas for a 12-yard score late in the third quarter to narrow the deficit to 20-7.
The junior also rushed for 70 yards and added a late 4 yard scoring run.
"We got ravaged right in the middle of our offense and that hurt us tonight," said BG coach Jim Farrell. "We weren't able to take advantage of early opportunities, but our kids battled the entire night."