Maine South roars past Fremd

By Mike Brown
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/10/2021 11:44 PM

For a brief moment in Park Ridge on Friday night, Fremd football fans thought the impossible might be possible.

Maine South jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Mike Sajenko. Fremd's Archie Cox returned the ensuing kickoff to the Maine South 35-yard line and nine plays later Caiden Suchy found Nate Tofilon in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown pass.


Sajenko scored again from 4 yards out on the Hawks' next possession and the Sam Taglia conversion put them up 14-7. But Cox once again brought the crowd to its feet when he returned the next kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. Connor Cox knotted the game at 14.

That was as close as the Vikings (0-3) would get as Maine South scored 33 unanswered points for a 47-14 triumph.

"Number 16 (Cox) gave us fits with those two kick returns," said Maine South coach Dave Inserra. "But they definitely sent a wake-up call to our team."

The Hawks scored on their next five possessions.

Frank Bartell scored from 3 yards out to open the scoring in the second quarter.

That score was followed by another pair of touchdowns from Sajenko. He scored on a run of 5 yards and caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rowan Keefe. Fremd's Bo O'Brien blocked the first extra-point attempt before Taglia converted the next two.

Maine South scored on its only two possessions of the third quarter. Chris Petrucci caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Keefe while Will Guzaldo scored from 1 yard out. Taglia converted 1 of 2 extra-point attempts.

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The Hawks showed that they have a profusion of durable running backs. They rushed for 273 yards on 40 carries. Sajenko led the way with 142 yards on just 14 carries.

" (Sajenko) was hurt most of the week and we weren't sure if he'd play tonight," Inserra said. "He was beat up but stuck it out."

Keefe was 15 for 19 passing for 144 yards.

The Vikings were held to just 149 yards of total offense. Jeremy Gearhart rushed for 57 yards on 18 carries for Fremd.

"We got better in a lot of areas but still have a long way to go," said Fremd coach Lou Sponsel. "We showed some signs of life with our special teams but we have to get back to work on offense and defense."

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