Cadets romp: Lang runs wild as Fort Frye routs Rosecrans 59-7
BEVERLY – Win on Friday, get a little help, and play in Week 11.
With that scenario greeting the Fort Frye Cadets as they took the field for the final game of the 2013 season, Cadet quarterback Chandler Lang made absolutely certain they would take care of their part and let the rest ride with the fates.
Lang ran for 243 yards and four scores while throwing for 184 yards and another score as the Cadets piled up 516 yards of offense en route to a 59-7 win over the visiting Bishop Rosecrans Bishops in Beverly Friday night.
“I felt like our offensive line did a great job getting holes, and we exploited them,” Lang said.
The Cadets needed the offensive explosion, and some help from Bexley to gain entry into the Ohio Div. VI Region 21 playoffs for the second consecutive season. It would be the first time in school history the Cadets qualified for the playoffs twice in the same decade, let alone back-to-back seasons.
In order to get in, the Cadets needed Bexley to defeat Gahanna Columbus Academy to go along with their victory over the Bishops. The Ridgedale and Fredericktown matchup also figured into the equation as Fredericktown had an outside chance to catch the Cadets with a win over 1-8 Ridgedale and secondary points from Highland and Utica.
The Freddies defeated Ridgedale by a 58-6 margin.
Unofficially, scores provided at the stadium in Beverly had Bexley defeating Columbus Academy 28-0.
Online news sources had the score at 24-7 in favor of Bexley.
Official results will not be posted by the OHSAA until sometime over the weekend. Unofficial standings on joeeitel.com had the Cadets in eighth with 10.7778 points while Columbus Academy was ninth with 10.4500 points. Neither had been mathematically eliminated as of late Friday night.
Only Fredericktown was mathematically eliminated. The top eight teams qualify for the postseason.
“It sounds good right now,” said Fort Frye football coach Eric Huck. “Our kids have worked hard, so hopefully it works out for them.”
Even though much of their future in Week 11 resided outside of Beverly, the Cadets knew where they had to make their statement and it began with their first offensive series when Lang took two plays to cover 35 yards to the endzone for a 7-0 Cadet lead.
“We couldn’t worry too much about all the other games,” Lang said. “First, we had to win.”
Getting their eighth victory of the campaign didn’t prove much of a challenge for the Cadets, who tallied three touchdowns on six snaps in their first three drives while holding the football for just 2:08 of play time.
“They were really fired up before the game, really excited to play,” Huck said.
That excitement resulted in 33 first quarter points as the Cadets piled on the offense in the first 12 minutes of play.
Of the five scores in the opening stanza, three came from Lang on runs of five, 23 and 50 yards. Sophomore Derek Layton was rewarded with a 1-yard plunge after his 58 yard reception was tripped up short and junior Luke Yates took the third Bishop fumble 28 yards to paydirt.
Overall, the Cadets scored 33 points on just 12 offensive plays in the first quarter.
The offensive explosion continued into the second quarter as the Cadets moved into the redzone on their first offensive series only to have a fumble short circuit the drive.
Fort Frye managed to get back onto the board following an interception by Colten Shuster on the Cadets’ last possession of the half when Lang connected with C.J. Huck on an 11-yard touchdown pass.
Leading 40-0 at the break, the Cadets once again needed just two plays in the second half to find the endzone as Lang ran 41 yards to paydirt with 10:49 in the third quarter.
The next series for the Cadets saw senior offensive guard Garrett Hall move to the backfield and get into the endzone with a 3-yard run, putting the cap on a fine career for the lineman, Huck noted.
“We want to reward those guys every once in a while,” Huck grinned.
Given the large advantage, the Cadets went to the second string and still put together a scoring drive as the big play once again bit the Bishops, who dressed just 14 kids.
Taking over at the Bishops’ 47 after a solid punt return by Terren Huck, Fort Frye freshman Brady Carpenter broke through the line and into the endzone on the first play from scrimmage, putting the Cadets ahead 59-0.
Down by a sizeable margin, the Bishops continued to play and finally broke through for points on their final possession of the season.
“They (Bishop Rosecrans) played from beginning to end. They didn’t quit. Give them some credit,” Huck praised.
Taking over at their own 29, the Bishops covered the 71 yards to the endzone on 12 plays with Vince Applegate hauling in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Michael Fisher with 18.3 seconds to play in regulation, setting the final score.
With their part in the playoff picture done, the Cadets were then left with nothing to do but sit and wait.
“It’s definitely exciting, but it’s nerve-wracking to wait,” Lang laughed.
The win improved the Cadets record to 8-2 on the season and follows an 8-3 (8-2 regular season) campaign in 2012 that saw Fort Frye make the state playoffs for the first time since 2000.
Since Huck took over at Fort Frye, the Cadets have gone 32-18 for a .640 winning percentage.
Included in that span is 23-7 record over the past three seasons with Lang under center. For the 2013 campaign, the senior signal caller finished with 1,107 yards passing and 11 touchdowns to go with 1,108 yards rushing on 146 carries and 21 touchdowns.
“It’s incredible. I’m glad to be part of a winning team, a winning program,” Lang said. “We have great coaches and kids that want to go hard…It’s been a privilege to play under them (coaches) and with the kids on the team.”
And depending on the outcome over the weekend, that winning program could add one more achievement to list.
“I thought we kept getting better all season long. We’re playing some good football right now and hopefully we get another week,” Huck said.