North Fremont football lost their first game of the season Friday falling 23-21 to McCall Donnelly in the state semifinal game.
The game started badly for North Fremont when McCall Donnelly’s opening kickoff was a line drive that bounced off a North Fremont player and ended up in a McCall Donnelly player’s hands. McCall Donnelly scored a couple play later to take the lead.
“It was tough sledding early and we couldn’t get a lot of consistency moving the ball,” Lenz said.
McCall Donnelly scored twice more in the second quarter to take a three score lead before North Fremont rallied. The Huskies finally scored on a 30-yard halfback pass from Jordan Lenz to tight end Paul Wynn.
North Fremont forced a punt after McCall received the opening kickoff and scored again to cut the deficit to one score in the third quarter.
McCall then drove down the field and kicked a field North Fremont was still breathing. The Huskies nearly narrowed the gap to three when they drove to the goal line twice but couldn’t convert and ended up turning it over on downs.
“Our defense, we gave up 20 points in that first half but in the second half they gave up three,” Lenz said. “They bore down and they fought hard and they never gave up. We just couldn’t quite get over the top.”
McCall Donnelly presented North Fremont with test they had yet to face in their so far undefeated season.
“They have a lot of real strong kids,” Lenz said . “They’re experienced. I think out of the 22 starting spots on offense and defense, I think 17 or 18 of them returned. They had 19 seniors so they had a real good senior class. They were big up front, they had athletic kids in the skill position. They were able to throw. They had a really tough quarterback who could throw and run and he was kind of a dual threat for them and he hurt us. He hurt us in both areas. He had two big runs for them. They were just balanced enough with the run and the pass that it made it a challenge.”
Riggen Cordingley ran for 120 yards and Deshon Wheeler had 110 yards. Luke Hill went 7/10 passing the ball recording double digit throws for the first time in a game as a varsity player. Jordan Lenz caught five passes for 40 yards, Kohl Nielson had two catches for 12 yards, Kael Neeley had one catch for five yards and Paul Wynn’s touchdown catch of 30 yards was his only catch of the game.
North Fremont has gone 21-2 over the last two years with their only losses coming in the finals last season and their semifinal game Friday in McCall.
“Reflecting back with these kids over the last couple years, they’ve had a real good run,” Lenz said. “They’ve done a super job in the big picture of things. It’s just hard when you’re this close and within reach to get a state title and our kids just battled their hearts out and it just bodes well for down the road this year with a lot of kids stepping up and filling new roles after losing that good senior class. I think they went beyond a lot of people’s expectations. We found ourselves right there fighting. Next year we’re going to have to reload again with replacing this good senior class.”