By Bill Bray
In the 2022 lid-lifter, the Little Giants pried the lid off the 2022 jar in the second half and ran away for a 34-14 win.
The Little Giants went to the locker room at the half with a 14-0 lead. The first half touchdowns were supplied by Fremont’s All-Ohio quarterback, senior Kaden Holmes. The Tornadoes had the talent Ross QB bottled up until with 5:04 remaining in the first quarter, Holmes skirted 28 yards for the first score of the season.
Then at the 9:12 mark of the second quarter, the offense used the services of Jere “Bowling Ball” Scott. The 6’ 312 lbs. sophomore took the ball from Holmes and steamrolled over from the one for Fremont’s second score of the game. After a miscue on the first after touchdown point, the Giants made up for it after their second score when Holmes found Bryson Hammer.
Receiving the second half kick-off, it took the Little Giants 1:36 of the third quarter to find the endzone. Holmes found his favorite target from 2021, Adam Hrynciw with a 31-yard scoring strike as the momentum was firmly on the Little Giants side with the pass play putting Ross up 22-0. The Giants, going for two points again, were successful as Holmes found junior Elijah Simms for the completion.
After a terrific defensive performance in the first half by the Little Giants, the Tornadoes finally cracked the Giants “D” for their first score of the game on their next possession. Keishon Seitz plunged in from the two-yard line. Micah Wagner added the extra point to close the Ross gap to 22-7 at the 8:25 mark.
It looked as though the Tornadoes were starting to feel the momentum after the score, but Ross and Owen Shanahan quickly put an end to that feeling. With 4:50 left in the third quarter, Seitz running to the Tiffin 44-yard line, had a hit put on him by senior linebacker Mason Villareal that produced a fumble. Shanahan picked up the fumble and the junior defensive back scampered down the eastern sideline basically untouched as he scored for Ross on the 44-yard fumble return. Ross was no good on the PAT but took the 28-7 lead with 4:50 left in the third quarter.
During the game, Fremont Ross unleashed their senior running back Kelandre Jones. The 6’ 225lbs running back, used sparingly in 2021, was the spark on many occasions for the Ross offense. Every time Jones touched the ball the Ross offense could be guaranteed of at least 5 yards of positive yardage. Jones gained the majority of his 121 yards during the second half, as the Ross “O” wore down the Tiffin defense. Jones’ night was capped off with a two-yard touchdown run with 11:04 remaining in the game.
“Did you all see us run the ball, I think it was pretty darn good,” A smiling coach Chad Long said after the contest. “We have to be able to run the ball if we want to make a long ride in the post season.” Long explained that the offense is in a zone. The running back, Jones in this case, can feel where the line push is and he follows in the direction of that zone. Long gave compliments to a couple of new coaches on the offensive side of the ball this year. “Tom Kiser is turning this line into something special and also helping is Steve Gilbert.” Long called them his two coaches the old warhorses. “It’s just been magical to have them aboard.” Long concluded.
Statistically the Ross attack accumulated 389 yards of offense. Holmes was 13-22 through the air with 143 yards of passing. He threw for one score and was intercepted once. On the ground Ross gained 246 yards on 45 rushing attempts. Jones finished with 121 yads on 22 carries to lead the ground game. Holmes added 82 yards on 14 carries. Hrynciw hauled in five catches for 77 yards and a score.
The Giant defense was led by Villarreal who finished with four solo tackles and added 10 assists with one sack. Holmes made his presence felt on the defensive end as well with an interception along with four solo tackles.
Next up for the Little Giants is their home opener with Toledo Start.