BEVERLY - The Fort Frye Cadets clinched at least a share of their first Pioneer Valley Conference championship in 19 years with a dominating 60-14 victory over the Shenandoah Zeps on senior night at Fort Frye High School Friday night.
Cadet senior Spencer Lang rushed for 249 yards and four touchdowns and fellow senior Max Alsbach added 112 more yards and a score as the Cadets scored seven first half touchdowns to easily defeat the Zeps.
Ironically, Fort Frye head coach Eric Huck was a player for the last Cadet team that won a PVC title way back in 1993.
PAM BROOKER Special to The Times
Fort Frye head coach Eric Huck gets doused by his team after the Cadets clinched a share of the Pioneer Valley Conference crown Friday night.
"Its just unbelievable, it's been a long time coming" said an exuberant Huck of the Cadets' PVC title. "These kids have just worked so hard and they wanted this so bad. It has been quite a year."
The Cadets (7-2 overall, 5-1 PVC) set the stage for what was to come on a cold rainy night on it's very first possession of the game as they drove 50 yards in just four plays with Lang scoring from three yards out for an early 7-0 lead.
After the Cadet defense forced the Zeps into a three- and-out, once again it took just four plays to find the end zone with Spencer finishing off a 60-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown run.
Fort Frye 60 Shenandoah 14
Shenandoah (0-9) 0 0 0 14 - 14
Fort Frye (7-2) 21 26 13 0 - 60
: Spencer Lang 3 yd. run (Chandler Lang kick) 8:46
S. Lang 15 yd. run (C. Lang kick) 4:37
Max Alsbach 7 yd. run (C. Lang kick) 4:03
S. Lang 73 yd. run (C. Lang kick) 10:28
C. Lang 18 yd. run (kick no good) 5:37
Tyser Schilling 43 yd. pass from C. Lang (Pritchard kick) 2:57
Justin Massey 76 yd. pass from C. Lang (kick no good) :27
Dylan Bowman 2 yd. run (Pritchard kick) 7:48
S. Lang 57 yd. run (kick no good) :24
Andy Hronec 3 yd. run (Hronec 2 pt play) 7:49
Clayton Hrinko 22 yd. pass from Daniel Neuhart :00
First downs: 11, Rushes-yards: 42-205, Passing Yards: 50, Total yards: 255, Penalties-yards: 4-30, Punts-avg.: 3-31.7, fumbles-lost: 2-1.
First downs: 17, Rushes-yards: 34-372, Passing yards: 153, Total yards: 525, Penalties-yards: 4-40, Punts-avg: 1-24, Fumbles-lost: 1-0.
Rushing: Michael VanFossen: 23-162, Hrinko: 1-30, A. Hronec: 4-12 (TD), Neuhart: 10-2, Ethan McKee: 1-1, Tanner Moore: 3-(-2). Passing: Neuhart: 2-8-44-TD, Moore: 1-3-8-INT. Receiving: Levi Reed: 2-28, Hrinko: 1-22 (TD)
: Rushing: S. Lang: 10-249 (4TD), Alsbach: 14-112 (TD), Terren Huck: 3-8, C. Lang:3-6 (TD), Bowman: 2-2 (TD), Levi Baker: 1-0, Devin Waterman: 1- (-5). Passing: C. Lang: 4-4-153-2TD. Receiving: Massey: 1-76 (TD), Schilling: 1-43 (TD), S. Lang: 1-25, Alsbach: 1-9.
Fort Frye (7-2) at Bishop Rosecrans, Shenandoah (0-9) at Caldwell.
Alsbach came up with an interception of a Tanner Moore pass deep in Zep territory on Shenandoah's next possession and finished the deal on his own with a seven- yard touchdown run to give the Cadet's a 21-0 lead after one quarter of play.
The second quarter proved to be more of the same for the Fort as Spencer broke free on a 73-yard touchdown run and brother Chandler Lang took a quarterback sneak to the house for an 18-yard score and the rout was on.
Another pair of seniors got into the act for Fort Frye before the end of the half as wide receivers Tyser Schilling and Justin Massey each hauled in long touchdown passes from Chandler Lang and the red, blue and white went to the intermission with a commanding 47-0 lead.
With little left to be decided in the second half, Huck was able to get a touchdown for a most unlikely Cadet.
With the ball resting on the Shenandoah 2-yard line, the Cadet head coach inserted offensive lineman Dylan Bowman in at tailback and two plays later the senior plunged in for a 2-yard touchdown run.
"Dylan (Bowman) has been the anchor for us on the offensive line," said Huck of Bowman, one of five Cadet seniors to score at least one touchdown in the game. "It's just a great group of seniors and I can't say enough about them."
Bowman was quick to deflect the credit to his teammates after the game.
"I owe it to all of my teammates and coaches," said an emotional Bowman. "I wouldn't trade them for the world."
With the huge lead, Huck was able to pull each of his seniors out of the game in the third quarter to the applause of the Cadet faithful.
On his last carry before exiting the game, Spencer Lang broke free once again and 57 yards later he had his fourth touchdown of the game.
Spencer totaled 274 total yards in the game on only 10 carries and one pass reception.
Winless Shenandoah (0-9) got a strong game from running back Michael VanFossen as the freshman accumulated 162 rushing yards on 23 carries, most of them coming in the second half.
The Zeps avoided the shutout when Andy Hronec scored on a three-yard run and a last-second pass from Danny Neuhart was pulled down by Clayton Hrinko in the end zone to complete the scoring.
With the Cadets' first goal of winning a conference championship checked off of their list, they now turn to goal number two, a berth in the state playoffs.
It would appear the Cadets can control their own destiny as a win next week on the road against Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans would almost certainly secure a spot in the playoffs.
"Our other goal that we had was to make the playoffs," said Huck. "We'll take the weekend off and they'll come in here Monday ready to get after it."
The win improved the Cadets record to 7-2 on the year and 5-1 in the conference.
Shenandoah falls to 0-9 with the loss and will have one final shot to avoid a winless season when they host Caldwell in Sarahsville next Friday night.