KAYSVILLE — Defense always wins championships in Region 1, and Fremont took a huge step toward that goal on Friday night in spoiling Davis’ homecoming.
Fremont forced three turnovers and then batted a ball away in the end zone in the final seconds to hold on for a 21-14 victory in the early Region 1 showdown that might ultimately decide the region title.
Despite handing Davis its first loss, Fremont coach Ross Arnold said it’s only Week 5 and anything can happen in the next month.
“A wins a win in this region, but it’s only step two out of six. We’ve got four more to go. History doesn’t help us win the next game,” said Arnold, whose team has won four straight against Davis.
Fremont running back Jay Scott was a workhorse all game carrying the ball 22 times for 113 yards, and he punched in the winning touchdown on a two-yard plunge with 3:21 remaining in the game.
From there Fremont’s defense took care of business two times in the final three minutes.
Bryden Clark intercepted the first pass on Davis’ ensuing drive, but the Darts defense got a quick stop and Fremont’s defense was back out on the field with 2:00 remaining.
Davis quarterback Garrett Larson methodically worked the two-minute offense with short passes and then the drive got extended even more when a roughing the passer penalty negated a Fremont interception with under a minute remaining.
The Darts' last three passes were incomplete, however, with the last being batted away in the end zone by Havili Reeves.
Larson passed for 246 yards and two TDs in the loss, but he also had two interceptions as Fremont’s defense came up big in key moments.
“Takeaways are the biggest stat in football, we teach it, we practice it, we celebrate it. That’s kind of been our mantra this year, not just stop teams but take the ball away.
One of those key moments was on the opening series of the game. Davis methodically marched downfield on the game’s opening drive but Fremont forced a fumble near the goal line and recovered it in the end zone
It was a disappointing ending to an 11-yard drive that was extended courtesy of a roughing the punter penalty by Fremont.
Fremont’s offense responded by marching the other with Chaedon Dayton capping the 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 20-yard TD reception on a screen pass from Mitch Stratford for the 7-0 lead with 4:20 remaining in the opening quarter.
Fremont capitalized on another turnover early in the second quarter.
Three plays after an interception by Kendrick Bolos, Dayton caught another short pass from Stratford on an underneath route and this time he raced 59 yards up the sideline extending Fremont’s lead to 14-0.
“Looked down and just kept my feet in the best I could,” said Dayton.1 comment on this story
Needing a response, Larson engineered a critical drive for the Darts as they trimmed the lead to 14-7. He completed 7 of 9 passes for 63 yards on the drive, including a short fourth-down completion to Trey Baggett and then three plays later a four-yard TD pass to Baggett.
Baggett has caught a touchdown pass in four of five games this season.
Following a scoreless third quarter, Davis tied the game at 14-14 as Baggett hauled in another TD pass from Larson with 7:51 remaining.
Fremont’s offense answered right back with a 73-yard scoring drive as Scott barreled his way over the goal line.
“We came in knowing Davis was undefeated, we knew it was going to be a dogfight," Dayton said. "It was fun."