FREMONT – Yes, back in August the Fremont Ross football team envisioned itself playing in Week 10 of the football season with more on the line than a .500 record.
But, as the Little Giants prepare for their final game of the 2018 season, they’re looking to make the best of the situation. Ross heads into its last game of the year with a 4-5 overall record and a 3-3 mark in the TRAC. A victory would give them back-to-back .500 seasons and a winning record in conference play.
The Little Giants close the season at the Glass Bowl at the University of Toledo against St. Francis Friday at 7 p.m.
“We all know it’s been a disappointment of a year, we know, we get that,” Ross coach Chad Long said. “We don’t need to say anything or do anything about that, they understand that. There were many games we could have or should have won, but we didn’t. Now all we can do now is win this for the seniors and finish 5-5, that’s the best we can do now. We can only handle the scenarios that are given to us in this moment.”
While the Little Giants’ seniors have already said goodbye to Don Paul Stadium, Friday will be the last time they suit up in the purple and white. The culmination of four years in the program is a bittersweet moment some would rather not think about until it’s over.
“Really, whenever I think about it, I just get sad, just to think I’ll never put on the Fremont Ross uniform again,” said senior Noah Hotz.
“I think we all know that and we all want to pull together and do the best we can to win our last game.”
While Hotz has been trying not to think about the end of his career, running back Ethan Chumley admitted the thought has been on his mind. Wrapping his head around the concept of never again suiting up on a Friday night, is still a challenge, however.
“I’ve been thinking about it lately, it’s crazy that this is the last time I’m going to get to play with these guys,” Chumley said. “We’ve been together so long, it’s crazy to think it’s our last game together.”
When the Little Giant face the Knights (4-5, 2-4) they’ll meet a team that has lost four of its last five games, including a 42-35 loss to Whitmer last week. In Ross’ 28-7 loss to the Panthers two weeks ago, the Little Giants managed just 109 total yards of offense. Last week, St. Francis senior running back Malachi Wyse rushed for 209 yards, giving him 1,424 for the season.
In the Knights’ 21-7 win over the Little Giants last season, Wyse rushed for 125 yards and touchdowns. He runs behind a large offensive line and Long said the Little Giants will be in for a major test.
“(Wyse is) a big back and a good back,” Long said. “He’s not as good as the Sandusky back, (Terrion) Stewart, but he’s got a way better line than Stewart had. They’re always good up front and that’s the difference (will be) how is our D-line going to play? This is probably one of the better offensive lines we’re going to have to deal with.”
The Little Giants go into Friday unsure of who will be under center. Senior Hayden Lehmann suffered an ankle injury last week in Ross’ 42-29 win at Oregon Clay. While Lehmann finished the game last week, the Little Giant coaching staff has been preparing sophomore Spencer Price to play in case Lehmann is unable to play the final game of his career.
While Lehmann being unavailable would be an anticlimactic ending to a career which saw him put his name all over the Little Giant record book, Long conceded Price’s playing has the silver lining of giving next year’s projected starting quarterback a glimpse of action.
“That’s the way we, as coaches, look at it,” Long said. “It’s a great opportunity to see what we have and what we need to fix and do going into next year.”