If you were to look up the words “signature win” in the dictionary, you might just find a definition befitting the Fremont-Mills’ football team’s rugged 34-16 victory over Stanton staring back at you.
The Knights used its hard nosed running game to ground out 216 yards rushing and its stingy defense to shutout the Vikings in the second half to improve to 6-0 overall and earn that all important fourth district win.
“This was is a very big win for us,” said Fremont-Mills coach Jeremy Christiansen. “They came out with a great game plan and this was a very physical football game.”
The Knights got on the board first when A.J. Scarborough scrambled for a six-yard score and led 20-8 until Viking quarterback Tyler Havrum found Tyler Walter on a 14-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion cut the Knights’ lead to 20-16 at the half.
Christiansen used halftime to make some adjustments. It seems his Knights listened.
The Knight defense went back to basics, played more aggressive on the edge and held Stanton scoreless in a half for the first time all season.
“We made some defensive adjustments. I think that was the difference in the ball game,” he said. “We simplified things coverage wise. We were getting lost on their pass plays so we simplified it and got back to the basics.”
Offensively, Christiansen’s second-half play calling was just as simple: power football.
“We made a concentrated effort (in the second half) to be a power football team,” said Christiansen. “I’d like to think we wore them down but it was a tight ball game all the way. This was a one score game most of the second half.”
After a scoreless third quarter, the Knights’ Nate Meier found the end zone for his second of three scores on the night. After Scarborough’s two-point conversion run the Knights led 28-16.
Meier added the game-sealing score with less than a minute to go to cap the Knights’ first win over Stanton since 1995. Meier finished with a game-high 171 yards on 24 carries. For the game Fremont-Mills tallied 231 yards and held the Vikings to 207.
Christiansen stopped short of calling his team “in” the state playoffs with their 4-0 district record but he likes his chances.
“Four wins pretty much locks you in but we’ll see,” said Christiansen.
The Knights last made the state football playoffs in 1982.
“The kids are pumped up. This was a hard fought battle,” said Christiansen.