Fremd shuts out Barrington

Somewhere in the Fremd football locker room is a gold-painted sledgehammer and a plastic skull, the kind that people use to decorate for Halloween.

With his team circled around him in a tight huddle behind the home bleachers, Fremd running back Brian Hardy was given the privilege of using the sledgehammer to crush the skull Friday night.

It was his reward for a skull-crushing performance, 168 rushing yards in a bitterly cold 14-0 Fremd victory over visiting Barrington. Hardy was the focal point of the offense, which gained only 67 other yards outside of his efforts.

"This is the first time (for the sledgehammer). The coaches just brought it and I have no idea why. But they told me to crush the skull, so I did and it felt good," Hardy said. "We crushed Barrington, too.

"Everything was working. The line was pounding. Whatever is working, we run it."

Hardy kept the Fremd offense churning and limited Barrington's time of possession. He didn't score a touchdown but he kept the chains moving.

"We were prepared for a heavy dose of the run game from Fremd," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "Tip their cap to them. They played very, very well."

This is the second year in a row that Fremd has defeated Barrington 14-0, and the Vikings have now put themselves in position to be in sole possession of first place in the Mid-Suburban West since Conant, which was tied with Fremd for first place, lost to Schaumburg on Friday.

Fremd improves to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the MSL West. Barrington, which has lost two games in a row, drops to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the West.

"Barrington is just one of those rivalries for us," Hardy said. "But at the end of the day, we respect them. And now we definitely have some momentum."

Fremd got on the board late in the first quarter when Andrew Saxe ran in a touchdown from 8 yards out.

The Vikings' other score came at the 7:17 mark of the third quarter when quarterback Ryan Saxe found Jack Hipchen for a 16-yard touchdown pass. That capped a nine-play drive on the first possession of the second half.

Barrington was in position to cut its deficit to a single touchdown on the next possession. The Broncos marched nearly 80 yards but fumbled away the ball on first-and-goal at the 8-yard line.

"We had our chances," Sanchez said. "We were about to make it a one-score game and unfortunately we turned it over and it's kind of been like that the last couple weeks. We're playing some really good football teams and we're a few plays away from being really happy the last two weeks.

"But we have to keep working. We just don't have all three phases in sync right now."

The Barrington offense was led by running back Quinn Ketel, who rushed for 76 yards on 12 attempts.

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