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Defenses rule in Eagles' 7-3 loss to Freeland
In the history of Frankenmuth varsity football, last Friday evening’s game at Freeland will be remembered for a long time by the players, coaches, and fans in attendance.
In the battle between two 8-0 teams, both ranked in the top five in the Associated Press Division 5 poll, Freeland outlasted ‘Muth in a defensive struggle, 7-3.
The Eagles will begin the MHSAA Division 5 playoffs by hosting Tri-Valley Conference East Division foe Essexville Garber (7-2). The game is set for 7pm on Friday, October 28.
An open house for the new weight room will take place from 6pm up until game time. The Frankenmuth Athletic Association is hosting the event as over $81,000 in new equipment will be unveiled. Over half of that amount was raised by the inaugural Stand Up For The Eagles Auction.
Frankenmuth comes in with 83.556 playoff points and the Dukes have 65.556 points. The winner will face the winner between Swan Valley (6-3, 61.778 points) and Freeland (9-0, 103.111 points). An Eagle victory could lead to another rematch one week later back at Freeland for the district title.
The Falcons scored the contest’s lone touchdown with 1:47 left in the first quarter, on their second drive of the game. Jake Kelsey dashed 18 yards on a quarterback keeper option play. The score capped a 10-play, 71-yard march that used 4:54 off the clock. Drew Bakos tacked on the extra point for the 7-0 lead. The drive had five first downs.
‘Muth made halftime adjustments and executed better. There was never a lack of effort by the Eagles. With 6:32 left in the fourth quarter, the Falcons halted ‘Muth’s nine-play, 45-yard drive at Freeland’s 15-yard line.
FHS Head Coach Phil Martin sent out kicker Jack Lee who drilled a 32-yard field goal to narrow the score to 7-3.
Freeland took the ensuing kickoff and worked on the clock, grinding out yardage until ‘Muth stopped them on an incomplete pass on fourth down. Kelsey’s seven-yard pass found receiver Zach Townsend but he was out of bounds. Still, drive ate up 5:46, 62 yards and lasted 14 plays.
With 39 seconds left in the game, FHS quarterback Jared Davis tossed a 54-yard pass to receiver Grant Bronner, who was dashing down the middle of the field. Davis spiked the ball to set up second down and 10 yards at the 39-yard line.
Davis next had a six-yard pass to Hunter Schluckebier and on third down and four yards to go, Davis was sacked. On fourth down and eight yards, Davis’ pass to Bronner lost three yards but the play continued during a series of lateral passes to Davis, back to Bronner and finally Luke Scharrer, who was tackled at the Falcon 18-yard line, ending the game.
The Eagles finished offensively with 213 total yards (135 on the ground) on 44 plays for a 4.8 yards per play average. ‘Muth managed 10 first downs and 22:12 time of possession. Freeland accumulated 175 total yards (132 on the ground) on 52 plays for a 3.4 yards per play average. The Falcons had 12 first downs and 25:48 time of possession.
Davis rushed 16 times for 65 yards, Kris Roche added 36 yards on seven carries and Zach Jacobs had 10 carries for 23 yards. Davis was 4 for 6 for 78 yards passing, with Bronner catching a pair of passes for 62 yards.
Max Kubiak led the Falcons’ running attack with 52 yards on 13 carries. Garhet Metiva and Chris Bell had 12 carries each for 38 and 24 yards, respectively. Kelsey was 4 for 9 for 43 yards and was sacked twice. One interception went against Kubiak.
Davis was all over the field on defense, registering 11 tackles (seven solo efforts), and an interception. Nathaniel Lambeth collected seven tackles, including two for losses of 12 yards. Roche, Schluckebier and Coreyon Chandler had six tackles apiece.
Frankenmuth traveled to Essexville Garber on week six, September 30, and left with a 34-8 triumph. The Eagles led 14-8 at halftime before posting 20 second-half points for the win.
On the third play of the game, Ryan Khan stepped in front of a Logan Sella pass for a 44-yard interception return. Later in the first quarter, Davis found Bronner for a 43-yard TD pass.
In the second half, Jacobs rambled 37 yards for a score and Davis added touchdown runs of 10-yards and a two-yards in the fourth quarter.
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