Morning Sun
  • Frontenac upsets Colgan in 26-25 overtime thriller

  • The media circus preceding the St. Mary’s Colgan-Frontenac clash at Hutchinson Field centered on father-son head coaches and on Friday night, it was rightfully all about the players on the field.

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  • The media circus preceding the St. Mary’s Colgan-Frontenac clash at Hutchinson Field centered on father-son head coaches and on Friday night, it was rightfully all about the players on the field.
    Turnovers played a major role in a back-and-forth game. Two lost fumbles placed Frontenac in an early hole and the Raiders derailed two Colgan second-half drives with interceptions, one by Tanner Craig in the end zone in the fourth quarter which helped the Raiders force overtime.
    “Our defense did a great job of bending but not breaking and our offense figured out how to take care of the football after that first quarter,” Frontenac head coach Mark Smith said. “We’ve been preaching it and preaching it and they saw the results of it.”
    After that interception, Frontenac converted on a fourth-and-14 with a 31-yard pass play from Devon Keith to Taylor Johnson and Johnson tied it up at 19 on a 5-yard touchdown run with 2:55 left in regulation. The Frontenac extra point was blocked and Colgan did not score on its final drive.
    “I thought our offensive line was our MVP,” Smith said. “TJ (Taylor Johnson) ran very hard. He had a purpose tonight and he got the job done.”
    In overtime, both teams scored touchdowns on its third play. Frontenac made its extra point and Colgan missed its extra point to force a second overtime, as Frontenac came out with an exciting 26-25 win, snapping an extended losing streak for the Raiders against their rival.
    “It was a great game,” Colgan head coach Chuck Smith said. “I thought both teams played hard and I thought both teams really left it on the field. I’m real proud of our kids. They’ve worked hard for six months getting ready for this. I’m just real proud of their effort.”
    “It feels amazing,” Frontenac senior Bryan Wade said. “It’s been 15 years. I moved in second grade and I remember going to Coach Smith’s (Mark Smith) senior year at Colgan’s game and he didn’t play. That game and the 2007 clash were the only two games I remember even being close and that was still 28-14 both times. For us to come out and beat them, we’re just happy that it’s over and we’re glad we’re the Class of 2013 and the 2012 football team’s the one that’s going to be known for breaking the streak.”
    “It feels amazing, especially with all these former players out here cheering us on,” Frontenac senior Nick Zafuta said. “I think it means a little more to them than it does for us. It still feels good.”
    Wade and Zafuta both agreed the interceptions changed momentum. Wade made his sideline-straddling pick with 5:25 left in the third and Craig made his pick at the 9:55 mark of the fourth, stopping a Colgan drive which started with 3:29 left in the third and crossed over into the fourth.
    Page 2 of 3 - “They were huge,” Wade said. “They were passing on us at ease pretty much and we just finally made a play when we really needed to make one.”
    “Those decided the game,” Zafuta said. “Those were the game-changers right there. Without those, I don’t think the same result would have happened.”
    Colgan took a 19-13 lead with a 12-yard Conner Dayton touchdown scamper and controlled the ball for the majority of the third quarter. In fact, Colgan moved the chains five times in the third and Frontenac generated no first downs in the second half until its long scoring drive in the fourth.
    Dayton led Colgan with 126 yards and one score on 23 carries. A blitzing Christian Cedeno made a big blind-side hit on Frontenac quarterback Keith in the first quarter, which jarred the ball loose and an opportunistic Aaron Twarog scooped up the ball for the first score of the game.
    Twarog accounted for all 13 Colgan first-half points — his fumble recovery in the end zone, his extra point and two field goals. Dyson Dechant passed for 158 yards. Nate Grimaldi and Luke Marquardt both caught three passes and Tucker Hoffman made 72 yards from his two catches. Drew Dawson turned a screen pass into a 11-yard gain and a first down on a fourth-and-9 play.
    “It was about the players and it’s been a great rivalry over the years,” Chuck Smith said. “A real good win for Frontenac. I’m sorry for our kids. They’re going to hurt. Boy, we better get ready because we’ve got a strong Girard team we’re going to play next week and a lot of season ahead so we’re looking forward to that.”
    Colgan (3-1) meets Girard (3-1) in another CNC “Clash of the Titans” next Friday night on Girard Homecoming.
    Keith led Frontenac with 66 rushing yards on 13 carries, Ethan Powell had 59 yards on 12 carries and Johnson added 45 yards on 11 carries. Powell and Johnson both rushed for touchdowns. Blake Vail led Frontenac receivers with four catches for 53 yards and his 28-yard touchdown reception came flat on his back after the ball passed through Colgan defender Colton Gilbert and Vail several times before Vail corralled the ball for the Raiders’ first score.
    Frontenac wins its first game of the year after three losses and now faces Erie and Baxter Springs back-to-back before entering district play against Parsons. The Raiders play three consecutive home games.
    “Yes, definitely,” Wade said of the Colgan win giving Frontenac momentum. “For us to start out 0-3, we didn’t plan on that. We feel like we improved a lot against Galena but the score didn’t show that. We felt like we were ready to play this game and finally getting Coach Smith his first W really means a lot to us and we hope that we can build on it and never look back.”
    Page 3 of 3 - Frontenac scored in overtime on a 9-yard pass from Keith to Brett Macary and Colgan scored on a 5-yard run by Dechant.

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