Fremd suffers tough loss to Evanston

After a two-week road trip, Fremd returned to the friendly confines of Hale Hildebrandt Field in Palatine on Friday night to face the visitors from Evanston High School.

But the raucous home crowd and enthusiastic atmosphere did not help as the Vikings dropped to 0-4 with a 20-17 loss to the Wildkits.

After a fumble at its own 37-yard line on the opening drive of the game, the Fremd defense kept the Wildkits out of the end zone after they turned the ball over on four downs.

Fremd produced the first points of the game with a 12-play, 67-yard drive in the first quarter. Junior quarterback Caiden Suchy connected with Archie Cox on a 22-yard touchdown pass. Connor Cox converted the point after touchdown.

"The defense did a great job after the turnover and we went back to just old-fashioned pound and ground on the touchdown drive," said Fremd coach Lou Sponsel.

Evanston got a 20-yard punt return to the Fremd 46-yard line from Gio Milam-Pryor in the second quarter to set up its first scoring drive of the game.

Pryor scored on a 1-yard plunge into the end zone and a bad snap on the PAT kept them from tying the game at 7-7.

The Vikings had another long drive with just over five minutes left in the first half. They ran 9 plays for 61 yards and were aided by three costly Evanston penalties.

The result of the sustained drive was a 24-yard field goal from Connor Cox and a 10-6 Fremd lead at the half.

The Wildkits took their first lead of the game with just one minute remaining in the third quarter after a roughing the kicker penalty by Fremd kept the Wildkits' drive alive.

Pryor scored his second touchdown of the game on a 4-yard run. Ben Barney converted the kick to put Evanston up 13-10.

A blocked punt by North Carolina commit Sebastian Cheeks set the Wildkits up at the Fremd 13. Sean Cruz caught a 5-yard pass from Dylan Groff to give Evanston a 20-10 lead.

But the Vikings refused to quit and bounced back with a 34-yard kickoff return from Archie Cox on the ensuing kickoff and were helped with an additional 15 yards on a personal foul by Evanston. That set the Vikings up at the Wildkits' 28-yard line.

Suchy found freshman Brennan Saxe in the corner of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown pass and Connor Cox converted.

Cruz recovered the Vikings' onside kick for Evanston.

"We made some critical errors on key plays tonight but we fought hard until the end," said Sponsel.

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