The Fredericktown High School Football Team lost its third close game in four weeks, Friday night.
The Cats lost 23-17 to the De Soto Dragons, here.
The Dragons jumped to a quick lead. Fredericktown received the opening kickoff but had to punt. On the first play from scrimmage, the Dragons’ Justin Gibbons ran 61 yards on a sweep to the right for a touchdown. The PAT was no good, and the Dragons led 6-0 with 9:56 to play in the first quarter.
The Dragons made it 12-0 when Quarterback Zach Smith capped off a 13-play, 77-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run with 10:24 to play in the half. Smith was stopped on the two-point attempt.
The Cats Matthew Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards to the Dragons’ 14. After three plays lost nine yards, the Cats attempted a field goal. Freshman Colten Jordan split the uprights with room to spare, setting a new school record with the 40-yard strike. De Soto led 12-3 with 8:36 to play in the half.
The Dragons’ Mayson Derousse added a 30-yard field goal with 4:06 to play in the half. The halftime score was 15-3.
De Soto got the second half kickoff and the FHS defense capitalized, immediately. Linebacker Dalton King picked off a pass and returned to the Dragons’ three. On fourth and goal from the one, Luke Korokis scored. Jordan’s PAT made it 15-10 with 8:43 to play in the third.
De Soto scored early in the fourth quarter, when a partially blocked punt was returned for a touchdown. The two-point conversion made it 23-10 with 10:31 to play in the game.
Trailing by 13, the Cats went to the passing game. A big completion to Korokis set up a Cody Smith to Brock O’Neal 17-yard touchdown pass with 6:42 to play.
The Cats’ defense came up with a big fourth downs top with 3:08 left in the game. The offense started at the 25 and five straight completions to Zak Keller, O’Neal (twice), Williams, and Keller again, set FHS up at the Dragons’ four yard line. An incomplete pass and an O’Neal run to the two, set up fourth and goal with 1:31 to play. De Soto’s defense held on the fourth down running play, and the Dragons were able to run out the clock.
For the game, Smith completed 15 of 28 passes for 162 yards and a score. Keller caught four passes for 54 yards. O’Neal caught three for 46 yard and a score. On defense, King had ten solo tackles and 12 assists. O’Neal had nine solos and eight assists. Keller and King had interceptions. Williams returned three kickoffs for 139 yards.
The Cats begin a three-game road trek, Friday, at Park Hills. The 5-1 Rebels are coming off a 40-21 loss to Ste. Genevieve.