Big plays lift Barrington to thrilling win over Fremd, MSL West crown

By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/9/2021 10:48 PM

Barrington's big strikes gave the Broncos the Mid-Suburban West title Friday in Barrington.

Barrington rallied from three deficits to overtake Fremd 35-21. With their win and Palatine's win over Hoffman Estates, the Broncos (4-0, 4-0) captured the MSL West title.


"Our guys played their tails off," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "It was us just taking what they were giving us."

Barrington found itself trailing at halftime for the first time this season.

Fremd was able to take a 7-0 lead at the break on a first-quarter touchdown. Cade Cheripka scored on a 9-yard run thanks to a pair of blocks by Jack Walsh and Chris Skaria.

Barrington then began to break things loose by going over the top of the Fremd defense. Joey Gurskis caught the first of a pair of bombs from Peter Anderson. His 54-yard haul set up a 3-yard run by Anderson to tie the game at 7-7.

Fremd roared right back as Ryan Saxe scored on a 1-yard run. It was set up by a 26-yard pass from Saxe (11-of-15, 241 yards) to Cheripka.

Two plays later, Anderson connected with Gurskis again, this time for an 81-yard touchdown and the game was tied at 14.

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"It was a great night for me," said Gurskis, who scored his first touchdown of the season and had 5 catches for 148 yards.

"I kind of knew watching film that the safeties like to sit in. So I knew that the corner and fade route were going to be more open."

Again Fremd (2-2, 2-2) came right back. This time it was Saxe connecting on a pair of passes to Archie Cox (10 receptions, 130 yards) to move to ball down the field. On third-and-goal from the 1, Saxe would score to put Fremd up 21-14 with 10:51 to play.

But the play would be costly for the Vikings as Saxe broke his foot on the play.

It was all Barrington from there.

Bryan Smith busted off a 60-yard touchdown run on the first play after the kickoff to tie the game at 21-21.

After a defensive stop, Anderson (11-of-16, 250 yards) threw a pair of passes to tight end Tom Sweeney right over the middle where Saxe had been previously playing. That took the ball down to the Fremd 15. Three plays later Anderson busted over from the 1 to give Barrington its first lead at 28-21 with 3:19 left.


Fremd failed to move the ball, turning it over on downs. Smith then scored on the first play on a 42-yard run to close out the game for the Broncos.

"It was just great blocking and execution by the guys in front of me," said Smith, who carried the ball 10 times for 130 yards. "We got some energy and we executed after that."

Fremd coach Lou Sponsel said that the big plays hurt his team.

"We played disciplined in the first half," Sponsel said. "We then took turns not doing our jobs defensively in the second half."

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