By Bill Bray
The Fremont Ross Little Giants celebrated their “senior night” with a 64-0 drubbing of the Toledo Start Spartans.
The senior class accounted for 40 of the Fremont Ross points. Kaden Holmes had yet another outstanding performance as the senior All-Ohioan collected four more touchdowns to add to his school record of 76 touchdown passes over the last three seasons.
Ross wasted no time as on the first play of their offensive possession, Holmes found junior Owen Shanahan for 28-yard pass. The extra point was good by Carter Rodriguez and Ross was up 7-0.
After a three-and-out for the Spartans, the Little Giants struck paydirt again when Holmes found junior Elijah Simms on a 36-yard strike with 6:59 remaining in the opening quarter. Rodriguez kick was good and suddenly the Little Giants were up 14-0.
After the defense continued their domination stopping the Spartans again, the offense was back on the field and yes, they scored yet again in the first quarter. This time it was their senior running back, Kelandre Jones bowling over from the 3-yard-line. Rodriguez was good again on the PAT and with :06 left in the first quarter the Giants had a commanding lead of 21-0.
With 9:35 left in the first half, the Little Giants’ “D” got into the scoring column when defensive back Anthony Vann tackled the Spartans’ Marquise Yarbro for a safety. On the ensuing kickoff the Spartans’ kicker made a huge mistake. He kicked the ball into the hands of “Mr. Eveready” Bryson Hammer. Hammer moved to the left sideline and sprinted 53 yards for Fremont’s fourth score. Rodriguez was good on his kick and with 9:25 remaining the first half Ross was up 30-0.
Over the next 9:25, Ross would get three more scores. The first a screen pass from Holmes to Jones. Jones made some great moves and found the endzone 26 yards later. Rodriguez, becoming “Mr. Automatic”, made the extra point giving Fremont a 37-0 lead with 6:09 remaining in the half.
Another great defensive stop gave the ball back to the Little Giants and once again little time was wasted as they made their way down the field until Holmes found Adam Hrynciw with a short 8-yard strike. Rodriguez kick split the uprights and with 4:00 remaining in the first half the Little Giants were steam rolling to a 44-0 lead.
To close out the first half, it was another senior, running back Ricky Howard who showed his speed with a 14-yard gallop as Ross had built a 51-0 lead before the quarter finally ended to give the Spartans a brief respite from the massacre.
The Spartans came out in the second half and appeared to have their first real momentum of the game until Ross linebacker Karson Kayden caused a fumble. It was like déjà vu with the free ball as for the second straight week, Shanahan scooped up the pigskin and, this time, raced 54 yards for another score just like his run the week before. This defensive score gave the Little Giants a 57-0 lead with 4:06 left to play in the third period.
The last scoring march for Ross ended with 7:10 left in the game when quarterback Karson Kayden rambled in from 6 yards out. Rodriguez ended the games scoring with his eighth extra point of the game.
The younger Giants played the entire second half. This, along with the outstanding performance by just about every senior on the team left coach Chad Long a happy coach when the contest ended. “We didn’t get everybody in, but most of our kids got to play, and they deserve that, Long said. “I was excited also for Owen Shanahan. Two weeks in a row with a ‘scoop and score’. He had the first touchdown tonight as well reception wise. He (Shanahan) is a real baller. Every time he is in, he makes something happen. But overall, I am very happy that a lot of kids got their chance to play and that the seniors had a spectacular showing”, Long concluded.
Statistically, the numbers looked like this. The Ross defense, led by Brayden Guhn, Villarreal, junior Blake Schoch and sophomore Jadrian Brown held the Spartan offense to 63 yards through the air and only 19 yards on 25 rushing attempts. Meanwhile the Ross offense accumulated 173 passing yards and another 143 yards on the ground. The Ross defense were the culprits of four Start fumbles recovering two of them with one resulting in the score by Shanahan.
Individually, Holmes threw the ball 12 times completing eight passes for 168 yards and four touchdowns. Jones led all rushers again for the second week in a row. He finished with 49 yards on nine carries and two scores. Hrynciw led the receiving corps. with 53 yards on two receptions and a score.
Next week the Giant travel to the ‘snake-pit’ in Sandusky as they take on their long-time rival the Blue Streaks in one of the biggest and longest rivalries in all of Ohio High School Football.