SALT LAKE CITY — Before the high school football season started, how many people had Fremont going to the 5A championship game?
But after Thursday's 20-14 semifinal win over Lone Peak at Rice-Eccles Stadium, that is exactly where the Silver Wolves are headed.
"People have overlooked us all season," said quarterback Aaron Van Woerkom. "That's OK. That's kind of the way we like it. We like that nobody knew about us, nobody figured we could get this far. We like being the underdog."
Coach Kory Bosgieter called his team a bunch of, "no-names that just get the job done." Well, after the way his team played against the Knights, plenty of people should know this pack of Wolves.
Fremont forced a quick three-and-out on Lone Peak's opening drive. It took the ball on its own 24-yard line, and promptly marched 76 yards on nine plays, capped by a 6-yard touchdown run from Nick Vigil.
The Silver Wolves defense stepped up and made plays in the Knights' next four drives, picking off one pass and forcing punts on the other three.
"Our defense played great," said Vigil, who finished with 124 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. "They made play after play for us."
While Fremont was shutting down Lone Peak, the Knights defense made some good adjustments after the opening drive and did the same to the Silver Wolves.
Lone Peak caught a break to switch things up. With 3:17 left in the opening half, Micah Hannemann intercepted a deflected pass. The Knights then went 53 yards on eight plays with quarterback Chase Hansen diving over the goal line from a yard out and 23 seconds remaining to tie things at 7-7 at the half.
Things continued to go Lone Peak's way after the break. The Knights forced a three-and-out, and following a poor punt, took over on the Fremont 42. Three plays later, Lone Peak scored on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Hansen to Zach Newman.
The Knights missed a 52-yard field goal attempt on their next possession, but they still had the momentum.
One play changed all that.
Fremont got the ball on its own 20. Van Woerkom completed a short pass to tight end Brock Smith, but Smith broke a couple of tackles and was off to the races. He was caught, but not until he had raced to the Lone Peak 34. Following a false start penalty, Van Woerkom threw a 39-yard strike to Tate Lewis.
"I just caught it and saw an opening and started running," said Smith of his momentum-changing catch-and-run. "I knew he had the angle on me, but I just wanted to get as far as possible."
On Lone Peak's next possession, Fremont linebacker Cash Hancock recovered a fumble, and two plays after that Vigil punched in his second score.
"I thought we rode the momentum," said Van Woerkom. "We have kind of done that all year. We have just kind of been hanging around, but then we take advantage of a couple of opportunities and cash in. It has been that type of season for us."13 comments on this story
After the two teams traded turnovers and punts. Fremont's Bryan Thompson, who finished with 15 tackles and one sack, intercepted a pass with 1:35 remaining to ice the game and put the Silver Wolves into their second championship game appearance in school history where they will face Bingham"
We want to continue getting better," said Bosgieter. "We are young, and I think we have just grown up as a team as the year has gone on. Hopefully, we can continue growing and be ready for next week."