Conant football gets fast start it wanted against Addison Trail
Coming off its' first conference title since 2003 last fall, Conant had visions of a fast start to the new season.
Behind Malik Frederick, the Cougars did just that.
Moved to a new position in the option offense, the junior rushed for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns, leading the visitors to a 54-7 victory over host Addison Trail on Friday.
"A strong start was very important to us," said Frederick, who switched to fullback after running for 553 yards as a wingback last year. "It was a big turnaround last year for us and it's important to show that last year wasn't a fluke, that we are building something big here that is going to go on for a long time."
His 1-yard score increased Conant's advantage to 14-0 in the second quarter, and he later added a 66-yard scamper to the end zone in the third.
"The offensive line did an amazing job," Frederick said. "Pretty much the whole backfield scored today. That is what makes our offense something special, everybody contributes."
Indeed, Frederick was far from the only standout. Sophomore quarterback Giuseppe Dugo ran for a pair of touchdowns in his first start and also completed the Cougars' only pass attempt of the night, a 37-yarder to Keegan O'Connor.
Jack Hominac has TD runs of 6 and 21 yards and backup QB Matt Botello added rushing scores of 2 and 53 yards.
Defensively, the Cougars allowed just three first downs and forced a pair of turnovers, a fumble recovery by Mason Reiger and an interception by O'Connor.
"I thought we had a lot of different guys giving great effort and contributing in a lot of different ways," Conant coach Bryan Stortz said. "Our O-line and D-line did a great job. Defensively, the kids were communicating well and flying around and doing their jobs. We played hard."
The Blazers didn't get their initial first down until late in the first half but did pull within 20-7 on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Valenti to A.J. Carlson. But an early turnover in the third quarter put an end to any comeback hopes.
"We have to fix some things," Carlson said. "We have a lot of underclassmen and a lot of inexperience. They now saw what a varsity game is like. We will be all right."