Fort Frye stays hot, gets win vs. Barnesville, 36-0

BARNESVILLE — It Fort Frye a while to get its bearings straight Friday night at Shamrock Stadium.

After preparing for one type of defense, the Cadets got something basically entirely different when they got their first possession of the game. It actually took the entire first quarter before the adjustment was fully grasped.

From there, however, it was all Cadets.

After a scoreless first quarter, Fort Frye proceeded to cruise to a 6-1 record by virtue of a 36-0 victory against the Shamrocks in what was a rematch of last season’s Division VI, Region 23 semifinal.

“I was proud of the way we responded and kept fighting,” Fort Frye head coach Eric Huck said. “They came out in an entire defense than we expected, so it took us a little bit by surprise. We really picked it up in the second half.”

Actually, the Cadets picked it up in the second quarter. And it wasn’t through their traditional approach either. According to Huck, normally, the Fort uses its run game to set up the pass. With the Shamrocks stacking the box, the Cadets turned things over to talented quarterback Tate Engle, who responded.

“We want to be able to run the ball, but they were putting everyone in the box and you really can’t do that against Tate,” Huck said. “He played well.”

Engle didn’t put up gaudy numbers by any means. He was just 7-of-9 for 140 yards. But, all of his completions came in big spots. For instance, he found Jesse McLeod all alone behind the Barnesville defense for the first score of the game on a 32-yard hookup with 11:10 to play in the half. Tyler Fisher ran for the 2-pointer and it was 8-0.

The Shamrocks, who struggled mightily on offense to a tune of just 109 yards of total offense, went three-and-out on the ensuing possession. Three plays later, the Cadets were back in the end zone. Tyler Bradford scampered around the end from 5 yards out. A play earlier he busted one for 30 yards. The 2-point shovel pass was good and it was 16-0.

“The beginning of the game was huge for us, but I’ve said all year our biggest issue is an inability to sustain drives and flip the field,” rookie Barnesville head coach Blake Allen said. “We flipped the field early, which helped our defense to get through the first quarter. We had a chance to capitalize and we shot ourselves in the foot a few times, too.”

Barnesville caught the Cadets by surprise to open the second half, recovering an onside kick at the 50. Three plays and two penalties later, the Shamrocks punted from their own 23 and the Cadets took over on the enemy 32.

Fort Frye needed just three plays again. Evan Schob, who had a big night rushing, plowed into the end zone from 10 yards out with 9:06 to go in the half. The placement made it 23-0.

“It’s part of being young and growing up and the next you know, you’re down 23,” Allen said. “That’s much harder to come back from. We had an aggressive game plan and we knew it could be a risk against their passing game.”

The game entered OHSAA mercy rule with 1:26 to go in the third quarter when Bradford scored from 7 yards out. The PAT made it 30-0. Schob closed the scoring with a 31-yard scamper right up the middle.

Schob finished with 115 yards on just 10 carries. All told, the Cadets rushed for 210 yards on 33 carries and finished with 350 yards.

“Schob had a big game,” Huck said. “Bradford had a couple of big runs, too. I thought, in the second half, especially, we played really well.”

Both teams are at home in Week 8. Fort Frye celebrates Homecoming against Caldwell, while the Shamrocks welcome red-hot Monroe Central.