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By Bill Bray

SANDUSKY — In the 118th renewal of the Fremont Ross vs Sandusky rivalry, one of the oldest in Ohio, the game became an instant classic as Ross hung on for a 21-15 victory at Strobel Field.

            Fremont Ross deferred the coin toss choosing to kick off to the Streaks to start the game. Sandusky’s first offensive possession, including a penalty on the very first play from scrimmage. The drive stalled five plays later as the Fremont Ross defense gave the Streaks just a taste of what the whole evening would be like.

            The Giants’ start was a bit Shakey as well with offensive lineman Cole Myers having to cover a Karson Kayden fumble.  Kayden, the Ross quarterback, made up for it on the next play with a 29-yard scamper to the Sandusky 26-yard line.  After another miscue of a fumbled snap, Ross got on the board with a 27-yard scoring pass from Kayden to Jadrian Brown. The quick moving junior put on some moves as he reached the end zone with just under three minutes gone in the quarter.

            ““What a scary game,” a relieved coach Chad Long said. “Their quarterback is great, and I think we did a pretty good job being able to contain him. He’s Dynamic. He is a Kaden Holmes style football player. We had to make some adjustments, didn’t always work out the way we planned it, but we obviously got the “W”.”

            With Ross up 7-0, Sandusky was forced into a three-and-out by the Ross defense who had the Streaks number early. On the next Fremont possession, the offense continued to have the growing pains that plagued them last week against Columbian. After a nice 28 yard pick up on a toss from Kayden to Tykel Patterson, the rest of the drive was less than impressive. An incomplete pass, a penalty and a run from scrimmage that netted zero yards forced another Ross punt.

            A defensive charge that included Dominic Brown, Blake Schoch, Peyton Heschel, and Luke Durbin as the “fearsome foursome” yet again forced the Streaks into a three-and-out. But also once again, the Ross offense struggled to move the ball and had to settle for a 39-yard Breylen Garza punt.

Defensive Tackle Dominic Brown is on the prowl against Sandusky.

            The quarter ended with Sandusky in possession and down 7-0.

            Moving to later action in the second quarter, with the Little Giants still up 7-0, The Streaks finally got the break they needed as quarterback Jason Helon found a wide-open Amir Aaron for a 29-yard scoring strike to tie things up at 7-7 with 5:00 remaining in the half.

            Having deferred the opening kickoff return until the second half, Fremont took possession on their own 26-yard line. The drive that ended with Fremont’s second score was thanks in large part to Kayden. A few pass completions, and two big runs put the Giants up to start the second half 14-7.  Kayden scored on a 44-yard sprint right up the middle of the Sandusky defense.  “That scored belongs to the offensive line,” Kayden said praising the “men up front”.  Kaden Mayle, Evan Franks, Zavier Lopez, Grant Miles, Kole Myers, and Patterson at tight end.

            The final Ross scoring drive happened immediately following as the Giants put together a seven play, 41-yard drive with the final 25 covered on the same pass play from Kayden to Brown that scored the first Giants touchdown.

Junior Jadrian Brown scores Fremont’s final touchdown of the night that would prove to be the game winner.

This one with 4:13 remaining in the third quarter.” That was a great team win,” a smiling Jadrian Brown said after the game. “Our energy stayed high, and I love to see this result.”

            Into the fourth quarter the game moved, and the Streaks found the end zone for the second time with 7:51 remaining in the contest. This time another Henlon bomb covering 42 yards with Adrik Purdy on the receiving end this time.

            With the score standing at 21-15, Sandusky had the momentum down the stretch.  Could the Ross defense close the door on the Streaks when they needed to? The question was answered by Ross’ sophomore defensive end Marquez Wiliams. Williams’ sack of Henlon deflated the Streak offense. After four straight Henlon completions covering 51 yards by the junior signal caller the ball rested on the Fremont 27-yard line. Henlon took a 13-yard loss on the Williams sack. It led the Streak quarterback to throw two incompletions.

            On the final play of the game Henlon, with his speed, line up at receiver. The ball came floating down as 5’7” Ross defensive back Ty Brown went high to fight Henlon for the ball. When he came down, after the completion, he was out of bounds.

Karson Kayden threw for  173 yards and carrying the ball 22 times for 90 yards.

  “Our second half was better, Long said. “We established Karson Kayden and the running game a little bit. That gave us momentum. Karson needed this win, and our team needed this win.”

             Besides Kayden, who stood out in his own right, Jadrian Brown electrified the Fremont faithful multiple times throughout the game. The junior is no longer a secret weapon. ““He’s a great player, Long said of his two-way player.  His name speaks a lot in Fremont. We talk about Fremont tradition; the name Brown is big in Fremont. I can’t say enough about that kid. Defensively, offensively, and special teams. Brown had a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown called back for a holding call. “That punt return, there was a holding call,” Long said in agreement with the officials. “But it was a beautiful run. That kid is dynamic and such a great student athlete. He has a very bright future. He has developed and become what you saw tonight because of the work he has put in this last off season.”

            The Little Giants left Strobel Field with their third straight win over the Streaks and their 52nd in the storied rivalry. It also snapped a four game losing skid dating back to last season.

            Next up: Perrysburg comes to Don Paul Stadium Friday night. Game time 7pm.

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