Fremd shuts out Schaumburg
It seemed to be a sure safety.
Fremd quarterback Ryan Saxe was in trouble Saturday afternoon. Deep trouble.
But somehow, some way, Saxe, who was chasing a fumbled snap into the end zone and had a gang of Schaumburg defenders bearing down on him, eluded the inevitable.
Saxe threw off his back foot, while falling backward, and was hoping just to get the ball safely out of bounds to avoid a sack and a safety.
Then suddenly, wide receiver Jack Hipchen stepped in front of the ball about 15 yards downfield, stayed in bounds and turned a broken play into the play of the game.
"That was a crazy play," Saxe said with a smile.
Hipchen sprinted all the way into the end zone for a 96-yard touchdown reception that gave Fremd the first score of the game and opened the floodgates to a 28-0 Fremd shutout victory over host Schaumburg in the Mid-Suburban League West opener for both teams.
"We practice that play (avoiding the sack in the end zone) about six times a week," Fremd coach Lou Sponsel said with a laugh. "No. We don't practice that. You can't practice that. That's just Ryan being Ryan. Those are athletes being athletes. Those are the things that Ryan can do. And you had Jack Hipchen there and he made a great play and you can't coach that either.
"That was a huge play for momentum and after that, our guys just went."
Fremd improved to 3-2 on the season while Schaumburg dropped to 2-3.
The big touchdown play from Saxe to Hipchen gave Fremd a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. Then Saxe struck again several minutes later with a 10-yard touchdown run that came after the Fremd defense turned back Schaumburg on a fourth-down play in Saxon territory.
"Our defense is rolling right now," Saxe said. "We have a lot of trust in them. We know that we're going to get stops."
Fremd immediately added to its 14-0 halftime lead with less than two minutes gone in the third quarter.
After an interception by Fremd senior linebacker Nate Stevens, Saxe ran in a touchdown from 26 yards out on the very next play. That put the Vikings up 21-0.
Saxe (88 rushing yards, 134 passing yards) then finished out the scoring with yet another rushing touchdown about two minutes into the fourth quarter with a 14-yard touchdown run.
"It was just something we saw," Sponsel said of the openings for Saxe to run. "We threw it a lot in the first half and then their linebackers dropped into coverage so we told Ryan that if he saw that to run it."
Schaumburg couldn't get much going offensively. The Saxons managed just 115 yards of offense.
"They were just extremely physical," Schaumburg quarterback Luke Jessie said of the Fremd defense. "They're just tough on defense."
The Fremd defense forced 2 interceptions and six punts and came up with two fourth-down stands.
"I thought (Fremd) flew to the ball really well and we just didn't execute outside of one drive offensively," Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling said. "Hats off to them. I thought Fremd played really hard."