Fremd blanks Conant in defensive battle
In a Mid-Suburban West defensive battle from start to finish, a couple of Fremd underclassmen made a couple of big plays to help provide the Vikings with all the offense they needed for a 7-0 Mid-Suburban West win over visiting Conant on Senior Night.
Beginning from its own 25-yard line five minutes into the second half, the Vikings covered the 75 yards in just 5 plays, capped by junior Taytum Carmichael's 1-yard TD run for the game's only score with 4:22 left in the third quarter.
The two big back-to-back plays of the drive were 29 and 37-yard completions by sophomore quarterback Caiden Suchy to junior Archie Cox, which put the ball at the Conant 8-yard line. Carmichael then ripped off a 7-yard run before taking it into the end zone on the next play.
Suchy was making his debut at QB, replacing senior Ryan Saxe who was injured the previous week.
Cox's big catches were 2 of his 7 receptions for 155 yards.
"Archie has been such a good player for us this year," said Wyoming recruit Jack Walsh, who joined Jake Morel, Kevin Busse, Brian Clay, and Panos Salouras on the Vikings' offensive line. "He is going to be amazing next season. The kid just works so hard and he is so humble. He doesn't trash talk. And Caiden was probably put in the toughest spot possible, coming in as a sophomore for his first varsity game on Senior Night, and he really came through."
"That's fun to watch," said Fremd coach Lou Sponsel about the two big plays. "They're both great players and underclassmen. They have bright futures ahead of them.
"I really think this game was won by our scout team, which we call our WIN team. The guys who were running the Conant offense against our defense were amazing. I thought Chris Becker and Niko Crocilla were phenomenal playing their quarterback and running back."
The Cougars' biggest threat came when Malik Frederick raced 24 yards to the 19-yard line. On third down and 6 from the 15, Nate Tofilon came up with a big tackle for loss. An incomplete pass on fourth down with 4:46 left in the game turned the ball back to Fremd at its own 16.
With 1:54 left in the game, Fremd (3-2, 3-2) punted on fourth-and-1 from its own 46 yard line. Conant (1-4, 1-4) had a first down at its own 19 but 4 incomplete passes ended the game. Walsh knocked down one pass and Will Kristo had a hurry on another one,
"That (punting) is a credit to our defense," Sponsel said. "We have confidence in our special teams. We had a touchdown lead in that situation and we said 'let's trust our defense'. "
Frederick finished with 161 yards from 32 carries.
"They did a nice job containing our offense at times," said Conant coach Bryan Stortz. "I think we made mistakes we couldn't make. We'd get a 7 or 8-yard gain and come back with a penalty or fumble the next snap. Something just wasn't clicking on all cylinders and we just can't have that. Our defense stepped up the entire game. We had 11 or 12 guys contributing who I thought all battled really hard."