Hansen powers Hersey past Fremd
Moments after the postgame huddles broke up Friday night in Arlington Heights, four Hersey football players met up with two Fremd players at midfield for pictures and hugs and handshakes.
It was a pleasant exchange of friendship and sportsmanship.
"We played 7-on-7 with them in the offseason and we trained with them too, so it's good to see friends on the field and then get together after the game," said Hersey quarterback Jordan Hansen, who joined teammates Jimmy Matanovic, Blake von der Lippe and Quin Carpenter to welcome in Andrew Saxe and Connor McCarthy of Fremd.
The thing is, Hansen wasn't all that friendly to his friends from Fremd, or the rest of the Vikings for that matter, during the game. In fact, he was downright nasty. Figuratively speaking, of course.
Hersey's first-year quarterback (Hansen played running back last year) tortured Fremd from start to finish with pretty passes and elusive runs in leading the host Huskies to a dominating 35-14 victory over Fremd in the Daily Herald's Game of the Week in the Northwest suburbs.
Hansen, just himself, was a part of all 5 touchdowns (3 passes and 2 runs) and an incredible 370 yards of offense (215 yards passing, 155 yards rushing). Over the first two weeks of the season, Hansen has scored an eye-popping 10 touchdowns, a season's worth of touchdowns for many players.
"Well, we just wanted to get some respect from (Fremd). That's all we wanted," said Hansen, explaining why his killer instinct during the game contrasted so starkly with his hospitable kindness after. "And I think we got it. We definitely earned some respect tonight."
Even though Hersey went 9-2 last season and defeated Fremd (36-20) along the way, the Huskies seem to feel like a bit of an underdog in the MSL, still fighting for respect from traditional heavyweight programs such as Fremd and others in the area.
"I think anytime in this game, you always have to keep that edge and chip on your shoulder and competitiveness," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "Our guys have worked hard, but I still think they felt like the underdog in this game and we took that mentality out (to the field) with us."
Hersey, which jumped on Fremd early and often, improves to 2-0 overall. The Vikings drops to 1-1.
By the end of the first quarter, the Huskies were up 14-0 on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Hansen to Ben Randall and a 10-yard touchdown run by Hansen.
Hansen scored another touchdown in the second quarter (16-yard run), but the Fremd offense finally kicked into gear and scored two second-quarter touchdowns to cut the Vikings' halftime deficit to 21-14.
Fremd quarterback Ryan Saxe hit Jack Hipchen with a 17-yard touchdown pass and then Saxe ran in a touchdown from 8 yards out.
"We just came out pretty flat and that affected us early on," Saxe said. "But then we were confident (after the two touchdowns). Things just got away from us again, and we have to have a better practice week this week to fix things (for next week)."
Hansen added two more touchdown passes in the second half (a 26-yarder and an 11-yarder to Ben Clawson) and the Hersey defense also got a safety from Troy McKinnies to close out the scoring.
"We just played undisciplined defense," Fremd coach Lou Sponsel said. "And let's face it, that Hansen kid is the real deal. He is the best player on the field in a high school game that I've seen this year. I know it's a long season, but he can change a game. You say Jordan Hansen, but I felt like I was watching a young (former Northern Illinois star) Jordan Lynch out there. He's a very good player."