BEVERLY – The Fort Frye coaching staff wanted to get more touches on Owen Brown. And there’s a good reason why.
Friday night at Fort Frye Cadet Stadium, Brown rushed for 247 yards and scored three of his four touchdowns in the first half as Fort Frye beat Waterford 49-19.
The 15th straight win over the Wildcats kept the Cadets undefeated at 4-0.
“Owen can definitely do that all season long,” Fort Frye coach Eric Huck said. “We talked about getting the ball a little bit more. I talked to him about it because of what he can do.
“We definitely want to keep our offense kind of balanced, but he’s definitely a workhorse for us. He can do a lot with the ball.”
Although the entire fourth quarter was spent on a running clock, Waterford created some tension for the Fort Frye coaching staff after Mason Heise’s kickoff return 86 yards for a touchdown to open the second half cut the Cadets’ lead to 28-19 .
Waterford, however, couldn’t solve the Fort Frye ground game and the Cadets scored on their next three possessions, starting with Brown’s fourth rushing TD – this one from 3 yards at 8:11.
Waterford’s next two offensive drives ended first with an interception by Cadet Bryndon Riddle and again when the Wildcats were forced to punt after Caleb Riggs sacked backup quarterback Wade Huck for a game-tying 6-yard loss.
Fort Frye answered with Clay Miller’s 16-yard touchdown run to Zaiden Huck with 4:37 left in the third quarter and Austin Powell’s 26-yard TD run with 49 seconds left.
“We were heart with our guys at halftime because defensively we didn’t play well in the first half,” Coach Huck said. “That’s when we gave up the kickoff return. We talked about how we have to respond and how we can play much better in the second half. After that game I was very happy.”
Five Fort Frye ballcarriers rushed for 20 yards or more. Supporting the Browns’ performance were Ethan Dusky with 72 yards on seven carries, Powell with 54 yards on just three attempts and Miller covering 38 yards on six carries. As a team, Fort Frye gained 440 yards on the ground.
Waterford trailed 14-0 in the first four minutes of the game when Miller covered 25 yards for the first TD of the game, followed by Brown’s 51-yard TD.
The Wildcats held their own in the first half and managed two goals in the second half. On fourth-and-25 from the Fort Frye 29, Pantelidis threw deep on a pass intended for Guybe Ponchak. A Fort Frye defender fumbled the ball and landed in Ponchak’s waiting hands in the end zone with 4:45 showing in the second quarter.
Fort Frye responded in a flash. Two plays after Date Henderson returned the ensuing kickoff 34 yards to the Waterford 31, Brown scampered 30 yards for his third TD.
Waterford’s resilience showed again in the final kick of the first half. On the ninth play of the drive, the Wildcats faced third-and-goal from the 9. Pontelidis dropped back to pass and found Ponchak open just in front of the goal line. After gathering on the reception, Ponchak made his way the last three yards for a TD with just six seconds left before the break.
Pantelidis finished the game completing 9 of 18 passes for 158 yards with two TDs and one interception. The senior also rushed for 92 yards on 20 carries.
Contact Kerry Patrick at [email protected]