FREDERICKTOWN — The Fredericktown Freddies made it a perfect 10 for 10 in the regular season, as they downed the Loudonville Redbirds 40-14 on Friday night, giving Fredericktown back-to-back Mid-Buckeye Conference titles.
It was a playoff atmosphere at Fredericktown (10-0, 7-0 MBC). The bleachers were packed as usual, and the cheer as the home team entered the field was just a little louder than usual.
“We knew we had the talent to (go unbeaten). We knew it was going to take hard work. The juniors and the seniors came out every day and worked hard to make this happen,” Fredericktown head coach Brian Baum said.
It didn’t start well for the home team. Loudonville (3-7, 3-4 MBC) used its size on defense to shut down the Freddies. The running lanes, usually there for Matt Smith and Austin Hoeflich, were filled instead with Redbird defenders.
After forcing a punt, Loudonville marched up the field on the strength of the rushing duo of Christian Leitenberger and Ryan McFadden. After a drive of more than 50 yards, fullback Ryan Weber punched it in from 2 yards out to give the Redbirds an early 7-0 lead.
“I don’t know if they (Fredericktown) came out flat, or what,” Loudonville head coach Don Wilson said. “But they adjusted to what we were doing.”
The Freddies did adjust. When they got the ball back, and they still lacked success running up the middle, Fredericktown took to the air. Ryan Logan threw a perfect 32-yard pass to Nathan Cubbage. Before Loudonville could catch its breath, Fredericktown again went up the middle, this time breaking through a defense that was suddenly on its heels.
As the second quarter started, the drive ended –– with Hoeflich in the end zone to tie the game 7-7.
“We knew Loudonville was big. They hit us in the mouth. They were well-prepared,” Baum said.