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JOSH SZCZEPANSKI . . . led the Frankenmuth varsity running attack against Otisville-LakeVille with 13 carries for 92 yards as the Eagles clipped the Falcons, 62-6. ‘Muth is 7-1 overall heading into its final regular-season home game against Vassar this Friday, October 24, at 7pm. (Photo courtesy/Chip DeGrace)
Eagles fly past Falcons, gain share of TVC East crown
Efficiency was the name of the game for the Frankenmuth varsity football team last Friday night at Otisville-LakeVille.
The Eagle gridders used a little less than 15 minutes and 35 offensive plays to pile up a lot of points in their 62-6 triumph over the Falcons.
‘Muth finishes the Tri-Valley Conference East Division season with a 6-1 mark and is 7-1 overall. Thanks to Birch Run’s 21-14 win at Millington, the Eagles shared the league title with the Cardinals and Panthers.
Vassar will visit here for a 7pm nonconference contest on Friday, October 24. The Vulcans are 5-3 overall and need a win to automatically qualify for the MHSAA post season.
Frankenmuth is currently the No. 1 seed in the MHSAA Division 5 Region No. 3 with 75.893 playoff points. Currently, they would have a rematch against the No. 4 seed, Essexville Garber (5-3, 51.250 points). Birch Run is No. 2, also with 75.893 points and Freeland is No. 3 with 74.875 points. Birch Run and Freeland are both 7-1.
The scoring was fast and furious in the first half as the Eagles scored 27 points in the first quarter and 21 more in the second quarter to own a 48-0 halftime advantage. Aaron Krafft was successful on eight of nine extra points.
FHS used just six plays and two minutes to cover 61 yards for their game-opening possession and score. Running back Cam West capped the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run.
The Falcons took the ensuing kickoff and after two plays and losing 13 yards, the Eagles took over on a Travis Main fumble, recovered by Anthony Schurr. One play later, quarterback Jack Tagget found running back Jared Davis for an 11-yard touchdown pass. The drive used four seconds.
The Eagle defense continued to be stout, forcing LakeVille to punt after a three-play, three-yard drive.
Tagget needed just one play to complete a 45-yard TD pass to Krafft. This scored consumed just six seconds and the visitors led 21-0 with 7:21 left in the first quarter.
The Falcons were again stymied by the FHS defense on fourth down and 19 yards to go, the LakeVille drive was stopped on downs at the Falcon 18-yard line. Three Cam West rushes later – the last one a one-yard TD plunge – and Frankenmuth extended the lead to 27-0 (PAT failed).
Efficiency also marked this march, using 56 seconds.
Frankenmuth started its next drive at the beginning of the second quarter, following a Falcon punt. Three plays and 37 yards later, running back Bennett Dwan rushed for 20 yards, making the score 34-0. The drive time? Just 59 seconds.
Krafft’s kickoffs and special team coverage continued to leave O-L deep in their own territory. This time, the Falcons managed five plays and 10 yards to their own 17-yard line.
The ensuing punt saw Jack Veitengruber return the ball to the LakeVille 35-yard line. This time, West had a seven-yard run and a 28-yard scoring dash that chewed up just 36 seconds off the clock. At 41-0 and with 5:38 left in the half, the running clock began for the rest of the game.
Frankenmuth halted LakeVille on three plays and 10 yards. After taking the punt at the FHS 42-yard line, the red and gray scored on a six-yard touchdown jaunt by Veitengruber. This drive was seven plays, 58 yards and lasted 2:54 for 48-0 halftime advantage.
Things did not improve for the host school after the break. The Falcons began their opening drive on a touchback and on the first play from scrimmage, Grant Bronner intercepted a pass from Kyler Lambing at the LakeVille 33-yard line, returning it to the 14-yard line. Davis got back into the scoring mode on a 14-yard rush. The drive? One play, 14 yards and 33 seconds, giving ‘Muth the 55-0 lead.
The Falcons next drive ended on downs with 3:38 left in the third quarter. The final Frankenmuth scoring drive to start the fourth quarter used up 6:48 as Josh Szczepanski scored from six yards out, capping a 10-play, 45-yard march.
Szczepanski carried the ball eight times in the drive, accounting for 35 of the 45 yards and the score was 62-0.
LakeVille had the ball last and finally broke on to the scoreboard on a seven-play, 70-yard drive. Shane Horton found D. Washington for a 32-yard scoring strike. The PAT failed and just 1:55 was left in the game.
As a team, Frankenmuth had 295 yards of offense (228 yards rushing) with 16 first downs and an average of 8.4 yards per play. They were 5 for 5 on third downs and 7 for 7 in red zone scoring opportunities. Krafft did not punt once in the game.
LakeVille also had 35 plays with 116 yards of total offense, despite possessing the ball 33:03. The Falcons managed six first downs, two by FHS penalties, while they committed eight penalties for 66 yards.
Josh Szczepanski was the leading ground gainer for FHS with 92 yards on 13 carries. West had seven carries for 58 yards, Dwan two carries for 44 yards and Davis three carries for 23 yards.
Tagget was 3 of 5 for 67 yards and two TDs. Davis hauled in two catches for 22 yards and Krafft had the 45-yard scoring grab.
Defensively, Santino Llamas paced the Eagles with nine tackles. Nick Szczepanski and Davis posted six tackles each, with Dwan contributing five and Josh Szczepanski and Schurr had four apiece.