From 0 to 100: Fort Frye starts slow, finishes strong in 54-0 win over Belpre
BEVERLY — When it came time to kick into postseason mode, Fort Frye may have been a bit slow on the uptake but once the Cadets found their playoff gear they rolled to a 54-0 win over Belpre in an Ohio Division VI, Region 23 game Saturday evening at Cadet Field.
The floodgates opened and then never stopped.
Eric Huck’s team used a variety of different scoring options on a cold night to overwhelm the Golden Eagles. Touchdowns coming via punt, fumble and interception returns along with three offensive trips to paydirt helped send the home team to a date with Africentric next Saturday at 7 p.m.
“We started out kind of rough, but overall I felt like it was a good start to our journey. At this point, it is all business. There is nothing but a serious mentality from here to wherever the road ends,” Fort Frye linebacker Dylan Hart said.
These words proved true throughout the game, but especially in the first half as the Cadets built a 41-0 halftime lead. Brian Adkins, Jaymison Baker, Nic Hart, Ian Ellis and Thomas Lenhart each finding the end zone for Huck and comapny via one way or another put Belpre in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.
The display also spoke to how dangerous the Cadets are going forward, according to Hart. “It is just something that we have and we have some young guys who are stepping up this year and have been contributing to the team well. Everyone is just working hard and it is just great to see,” linebacker Dylan Hart said when asked how impressive and lethal he and his teammates are on the field.
To further prove the point, Ian Ellis, who completed 4 of 5 passes for 114 yards, was the only Cadet who eclipsed the 100-yard mark. Everyone else patiently contributed with about the same amount of attempts or catches as the number of passes thrown by Ellis.
Maeson Long led the team with 58 yards rushing on six attempts. Brian Adkins (54) and Owen Brown (50) joined their teammate with success on the ground. Baker added 63 receiving yards on his lone catch.
Connor Baker and Walker Feick did what they could for Belpre. Baker caught five passes for 61 yards, while Feick threw for the same amount.
However, Belpre head coach Lance Binegar could only sit and watch as his team was slowly warn down then done in by multiple mistakes.
“It was just one of those nights where one thing goes bad and another thing goes bad and we just get in our heads,” Binegar said.
Walker Feick’s incomplete pass on fourth and 10 at the Fort Frye 31early in the first quarter hurt the most.
Two plays later, Adkins started the scoring onslaught with his 42-yard touchdown run with 6:12 left in the first quarter. Four minutes afterward, Baker got in on the scoring action on his reception from Ellis. Hart then made the score 20-0 after his 35-yard interception return with :18 seconds left in the opening period.
Adkins sandwiched his second score, a 40-yard punt return, between Ellis’ 1-yard run and Lenhart’s 26-yard rumble recovery, with 1:18 left until halftime.
Belpre’s two chances to challenge the Cadets ended in a punt and Hart’s pick. After those two possessions, the Golden Eagles’ offense didn’t cross midfield again until the final drive of the game.
Overall, it was a performance Huck didn’t have very many complaints about as his team’s path to Canton begins playing out.
“I thought we were a little slow coming out of the gate. We usually start out playing a little better than that. I don’t know if it was the week off or not. The first couple series I just didn’t think we played great but we quickly came out of it and I thought overall we played really well,” he said.
SPECIAL TEAMS GAFFES
As solid as Fort Frye’s special teams played, there were two big errors on the night. While the blocked extra point and missed extra point didn’t hurt Fort Frye Saturday, blunders like those down the road can cost the Cadets when the games get closer. Thankfully for the Cadets, Huck doesn’t think it is anything serious.
“On the blocked punt I just though the phase with the snap and hold was a little slow. The guy coming off the end shouldn’t have enough time to get there if things are on time,” he said.
As for the missed extra point, Huck referenced a high snap being the culprit. He said both are easily remedied in practice.