FREDERICKTOWN — Jon Stabenow picked off a 2-point conversion pass with 2:40 remaining, and North County bolstered its district prospects Friday night with a narrow 35-34 road victory over Fredericktown.
North County (6-3) snapped a 28-28 deadlock in the fourth quarter with a 90-yard drive covering six plays, as Eric Thompson scored from 22 yards out.
Fredericktown (5-4) marched 81 yards on its final possession, and elected to try for the lead after senior James Royer scored his second touchdown of the night from 9 yards out.
Jake Whitwell protected the Raiders’ win by rushing for two ensuing first downs, and compiled 85 yards with a touchdown on 11 carries.
North County, which claimed just two wins last season, finished third behind Hillsboro in the Class 4, District 1 standings. The Raiders could upgrade to the No. 2 seed by appeal Saturday, based on a previous victory over the Hawks.
Quarterback Wyatt Compton was 15-of-30 passing for 191 yards, including a pair of touchdown tosses to receiver Isaiah Smith.
A 12-yard strike before halftime on 4th-and-9 helped North County create a 21-21 tie. Smith then caught a 7-yard pass as the Raiders opened the second half with a successful 13-play drive.
Royer found the endzone from 12 yards out on the next Fredericktown possession, and finished with 65 yards overall.
Jeremy Gremminger was just 6-of-18 passing, but paced his squad with 169 rushing yards on 20 attempts. A 26-yard keeper put Fredericktown ahead 21-14 in the second quarter.
Justin Sawyer had two short scoring runs in the first half, and made six receptions for the Blackcats. He also starred defensively by posting nine tackles with an interception.
Kaleb Warden tallied 101 yards on five catches for North County, which ended with a 465-370 edge in total yards. The Raiders notched 25 first downs compared to 23 for the Blackcats.
Stabenow also had five receptions along with a team-high nine tackles. Compton added an interception and fumble recovery on defense, while Seth Tiefenauer recorded a sack.
Ryan Morgan and Jake Korokis netted sacks while Chris Filley and Ty Burks recovered fumbles in the loss.
Fredericktown was locked into the No. 3 seed prior to the contest for Class 3, District 1, and will host Dexter in the first round on Thursday.