In a back-and-forth KMAC contest, Fredericktown scored last at Mount Gilead on Friday to claim a 30-24 decision.
The Indians had hopes of sending the game to overtime after a late touchdown. After Freddie quarterback Kaid Carpenter hit running back Teegan Ruhl for a two-yard score to give his team a 24-17 lead with 4:35 left in regulation, the Indians started on their own 36 after Paul Butterman’s kick return.
Passes from Carter Kennon to Kyan Davis for two yards and to Elijah Chafin for a total of 18 yards on three receptions moved the ball into Freddie territory and two scrambles by Kennon put the ball on the 33. The junior quarterback then connected with running back Garrett George on a screen pass and he did the rest, running over Fredericktown defenders on his way to a touchdown. Garrett Lamb-Hart’s extra point tied the game with just over two minutes left in regulation.
Unfortunately for MG, that was too much time for the Freddies. With the ball at midfield after a pass interference call against the Indians, Carpenter called his own number, got to the outside and sprinted the distance for the winning touchdown. While Mount Gilead had one more chance with the ball, they could not get down the field in falling to 2-3, 0-2 in league play.
“I think the biggest thing is the boys are battling all four quarters,” said Indian head coach Mike Reid. “I’m doggone proud of them. We want to build off the positives and correct the negatives. The guys battled back; we just missed a lot of opportunities.”
The first of those missed opportunities was a costly one in the first quarter. After quickly driving down the field in the first quarter and scoring on a one-yard run by Kennon that was set up by a 57-yard pass from him to junior receiver Owen High, the team was able to stop the Fredericktown offense.
Staked to a 7-0 lead, Mount Gilead drove back down the field, getting another long pass from Kennon to High — this time for 38 yards — on their way to getting a first-and-goal at the Freddie four. However, false start and offensive pass interference calls moved the ball back to the 22 and Kennon would then throw an interception. Then, despite facing a long field, Fredericktown moved from their four to the MG end zone in just five plays, with Ruhl capping the drive with a 41-yard scoring run that tied the game.
“Obviously, that was a big turning point,” said Reid. “We were inside the five and went back to the 22 and turned it over. This was one of those games where if we correct just one of those moments, we win.”
The teams’ defenses then took over until late in the half when Mount Gilead was able to drive deep into Fredericktown territory. While the drive stalled, Lamb-Hart was able to give the team the lead with a 32-yard field goal. The Freddies would end the half with three points of their own, though, in large part due to Indian penalties.
Facing fourth-and-19 from the MG 26, Fredericktown drew a pass interference call to move to the 13. They were going to try a 30-yard kick, but the Indians helped them out with an offsides that trimmed a few yards off that attempt, which would cross the uprights.
Fredericktown would then quickly regain the lead in the third quarter, needing just 1:15 to go 73 yards thanks to a 62-yard touchdown by Ruhl. It would remain 17-10 until early in the fourth quarter, when MG started with a short field after a short Freddie punt. It took them five plays to go 38 yards, with George running for the final five to tie the game.
After neither team could move the ball on their next couple possessions, Fredericktown took advantage of a turnover to start from the Indian nine and got the Carpenter-to-Ruhl touchdown to set up the fireworks of the final moments.
Both teams finished with 298 yards in the game. MG got 187 through the air and 111 on the ground. Kennon had 14 completions with High getting three for 104 yards, Elijah Chafin recording five for 20 and Butterman adding three for 33. On the ground, Kennon ran for 51 yards, George had 29 and Davis contributed 23.
Reid felt his team played hard, but just needs to find a way to get over the hump.
“The boys were competing,” he said. “It was probably a fun game to watch from the stands. We just have to keep an eye on what our goals are.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS