By: Alan Kopitsky, Democrat News
The Fredericktown High School football team won 27-25, Friday, at De Soto.
Fredericktown received the opening kickoff and started at its own 44-yard line. Ethan Marler picked five yards, and the cats got five more and first down on a penalty. The next play, Cats’ quarterback Easton Wood found receiver LeeAndrea Catchings open behind the De Soto defense for a 46-yard touchdown. DJ Baca’s PAT made it 7-0 with 10:43 to play in the first quarter.
De Soto scored on a one-yard run on fourth and goal. The PAT was no good, and Fredericktown led 7-6 with 6:01 to play in the first quarter.
The rest of the first quarter was scoreless. Fredericktown turned the Dragons over on downs early in the second quarter and took over at its 38-yard line with 10:05 to play before halftime. Wood dropped back to pass on first down. He was being pressured by De Soto’s Connor Siebert. Wood avoided the sack, scrambled to his left and raced down the sideline for a 62-yard score. The PAT made it 14-6 with 9:52 to play in the half.
De Soto received the kickoff and went 71 yards on 12 plays to cut the lead to 14-12. It would be the first of four touchdowns in the final 4:22 of the first half.
De Soto forced a Fredericktown punt for a touchback. The Dragons then went 80 yards on just three plays to take an 18-14 lead with 1:31 to play in the first half.
A big Fredericktown kickoff return gave the Cats the ball on the Dragons’ 36. Wood scored on the first play. Baca’s kick made it 21-18 Fredericktown with 1:10 to play.
De Soto took over, but a fumble gave the Cats one more chance to score before halftime. Fredericktown had the ball at the Dragons’ 33 with 38.6 seconds left. Wood connected with Catchings for 17 yards, but two more passes were incomplete. On fourth down, the Cats and Baca line up for a 33-yard field goal. Sienert blocked the kick, scooped up the loose ball and ran it all the way in for a touchdown as time expired. De Soto led 25-21 at halftime.
After a 46-point first half, including three touchdowns in the final 91 seconds, the third quarter was scoreless.
Early in the fourth quarter, De Soto drove to the Fredericktown 19 yard line. Fredericktown’s defense again came up with a big play, as Marler recovered a fumble at the 21. Fredericktown began moving the ball on the ground with Wood getting the bulk of the carries. On second and three at the Dragons’ 36, he fumbled, but recovered the ball himself. The loss on the play gave the Cats a third and 19 from their own 47. Wood threw the ball to Nolan Holland, who made a great catch for a first down at the 26. Wood gained 22 yards on the next play. On first and goal from the four, the FHS quarterback raced to the pylon and scored to give the Cats a 27-25 lead with 5:40 to play in the game.
De Soto marched to the Fredericktown 38, but faced a fourth down and two. The Fredericktown defense made another big stop and took over with 3:19 to play.
The Cats drove to the De Soto 44 with under two minutes to play. They were forced to punt. A mishandled snap gave De Soto the ball at the Fredericktown 47 with 1:36 left in the game.
The Dragons drove to the Cats 24 yard line with 40 seconds left. On fourth down, De Soto attempted a 41-yard field goal to take the lead. It fell short and the Cats were able to run out the final 33.8 seconds on the clock.
Wood led the FHS offense with 20 carries for 165 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He completed nine passes for 128 yards and another score. Catchings caught two passes for 62 yards and a score. Carter Cheaney caught three for 33 yards.
Dane Sensel led with 15 total tackles. Marler had 12, and Cheaney had ten.
The Cats play at Central, Friday night.