BELLAIRE — Fort Frye arrived at Nelson Field Saturday morning confident it could run the football against Bellaire.
When the cadets loaded their buses and equipment to return to Beverly, their confidence had turned into reality.
Using the Wing-T that executed near perfection, Fort Frye racked up 460 yards and six touchdowns on the ground alone as it cruised to a 62-26 victory that saw most of the final game played under a quarter and a half. OHSAA mercy rule.
“We ran the ball really well and I thought and hoped we could do that against (Bellaire).” Fort Frye coach Eric Huck said. “We’re really happy with our offensive line and the way our backs ran the ball.”
The Cadets’ running attack is versatile. Against the Big Reds, it was senior Austin Powell’s chance to shine. He finished with an impressive 222 yards on just six carries and scored three touchdowns. He scored Fort Frye’s first two touchdowns of the game on an essentially identical play. He took the ball right up the middle and raced for gains of 66 and 86 yards.
“If you’ve seen the game, there’s not much to say.” Bellaire coach Mark Bonar said. “They ran the ball hard and well, but we didn’t tackle well. We were sinking.”
Bellaire was able to make a nice move to answer Powell’s first down that Drew White capped with a 12-yard run. Jake Heatherington’s PAT tied the game at seven.
From there, however, everyone was a cadet. Fort Frye went on to score the next 34 points.
One play back for the Big Reds was in a fourth-and-goal situation midway through the second quarter when Heatherington went outside and had his pass intercepted two yards deep in the end zone by Owen Brown. He immediately did it again for the 102-yard 6.
“Our defense came up big a few times,” said Huck. “The sixth pick was big, obviously. Our defense has room to grow and I think we had some trouble adjusting to their speed.”
If Brown wasn’t doing his part on defense, he was doing his part on the offensive end. He complemented Powell’s backfield effort with 142 yards and a 48-yard run that swung the momentum back to Fort Frye after Bellaire had scored on back-to-back possessions. Brown also caught a 15-yard touchdown.
The Cadets, who averaged better than 15 yards per rush in the game, threw just four passes.
Although the Redskins defense was unable to slow down the Cadets, the offense racked up 402 yards of offense. Of these, 308 came by air.
Heatherington completed 23 of 39 passes for 294 and three touchdowns. All of his scores went to senior standout Ray Ray Pettigrew, who caught four passes for 135 yards. He scored on plays of 34, 77 and 15 meters.
The Big Reds fall to 0-2 on the season and will be at Nelson Field again in Week 3 against Bishop Tonos, who hails from Canada.
“We have a lot of tough games left in our schedule, especially if we play like we did (Saturday).” Bonar said. “We’ll keep working and come back next week.”
Fort Frye, which also got a touchdown from sophomore Clayton Miller, senior Braxton Brown and sophomore Maddox Huck, as well as six PAT kicks from senior Zaiden Huck, will make its home debut Friday against Zanesville.