Fremd overcomes adversity to slip past Schaumburg

The news hit Fremd's football team almost as hard as its defense hits.

Vikings senior standout wideout/defensive back Joey Rattin is out for the season.

Shoulder injury, incurred last weekend.

His teammates heard the tough news Thursday.

Friday night, against visiting Schaumburg, the Vikings relied on the churning legs of senior quarterback Ryan Saxe and senior running back Trey Castella to earn a 14-8 Mid-Suburban West victory.

Saxe rushed 25 times for 136 yards; Castella gained 48 yards on 9 carries, with 27 of the yards coming on Fremd's final drive after Fremd had taken a 12-8 lead on Saxe's 1-yard touchdown with 5:56 left to play.

But Saxe, who also completed 6-of-13 passes for 65 yards, downplayed his contributions.

"Our defense won this game tonight," he insisted. "You have to credit our defense. Our defenders swarm, and they're hitters, with discipline."

Each 'D' earned nothing but 'A' marks in the first half. Schaumburg allowed a scant 87 yards, while Fremd yielded only 88. Fremd (2-0, 2-0) had only one possession in a snappy first quarter; Schaumburg (0-2, 0-2) opened the game on offense and didn't complete its second possession of the night until early in the second quarter.

Each squad punted three times in the first 24 minutes.

Vikings senior lineman Jack Walsh blocked a Saxons' 23-yard field-goal try at 9:24 of the second quarter. Fremd finally broke the 0-0 stalemate via an 11-yard pass from Saxe to junior Taytum Carmichael with 17 ticks left in the first half.

Schaumburg got on the board at 9:45 of the fourth quarter, thanks to a 37-yard TD run from senior running back Mike DiGioia (5 rushes, 48 yards). Saxons sophomore running back Fred Takumi (14-98) had set up the tally with a 25-yard gain on the previous play.

That made it 6-6.

Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling opted to go for a 2-point conversion. Takumi delivered, making it look easy on a burst up the middle.

Fremd later matched that 2-point effort after its clinching TD. Saxe zipped a pass to junior Kaleb White for the deuce.

Schaumburg started its final possession of the game at its 33-yard line with a little more than 5 minutes left. Saxons senior quarterback Luke Jessie (7-of-18, 69 yards) threw a pass on a third-and-19 play that was broken up by junior defensive back Archie Cox.

Fremd called 10 straight running plays in the final 4:50 to seal the win.

"We found a way to win," Vikings coach Lou Sponsel said. "You sometimes have to do that when things aren't clicking."

"I thought," Stilling said, "we were a ton better offensively than we were last week, even though we scored only eight points tonight.

"We ran the ball exceptionally well."

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