Sometimes time of possession can be overlooked in a football game.
But Friday night in Barrington, it was key as the Broncos grinded out the clock in their 20-7 Mid-Suburban West win over host Fremd.
The Broncos (6-2, 3-1) used the clock to their advantage in building a 13-0 lead at halftime.
Barrington controlled the ball for 16:21 of the first half to Fremd's 7:39 and never allowed the Vikings to get any rhythm going.
"We talked all week about jumping out and getting a fast start," said Barrington coach Joe Sanchez. "When we got the two scores we were able to keep the momentum. They were never able to get any rhythm going."
Barrington took the opening kickoff and marched 72 yards in 13 plays, using 5:47 before quarterback Mark Bennett plunged in from the 1 and a 7-0 lead.
Chase Murdock carried 9 times for 37 yards while Bennett completed 2 passes for 39 yards to help fuel the drive.
On their next possession, the Broncos drove 84 yards in 21 plays, eating up 8:54. Murdock (30 carries, 138 yards, 2 TDs) leaped into the end zone from the 1 with 6:06 left in the half for a 13-0 lead.
Dylan Zyzda, who had a strong defensive game, set up Murdock's 3-yard touchdown run with 6:15 left in the third quarter. Zyzda returned a punt 33 yards to the Vikings 27.
"It was pride thing with us this week," said Zyzda, who batted down two passes. "We wanted to stop their run and show them that we can be a tough defense. I think our line and linebackers played a strong game."
"It was our best defensive effort this year," he said. "We held them to 133 yards. Now we have a chance to win three consecutive games to finish the regular season."
Bennett praised a young offensive line comprised of two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore.
"The line just pushed off the ball," said Bennett of Dan Voltz, Josh Watkins, Jack Bornhofen, Jackson Keeler, and Akeel Abdelhaldi. "They are maturing as a line and they are smart. They understand what they have to do to help us be successful."
Fremd (3-5, 1-3) averted the shutout when quarterback Sam Beutler (9-for-16, 65 yards) connected with A.J. McGhee on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 1:47 to play.
"Our kids hung in there," said Fremd coach Mike Donatucci, whose team is missing the playoffs for the first time in 17 years. "We were out there on defense forever in the first half.
"We didn't make some tackles but Murdock is a tough runner. I'll give him that."