FREDONIA – The Tri-Valley League rivalry between the Fredonia Yellowjackets and Cherryvale Chargers lived up to the long history between the 2 programs. On Friday night it was a 15 point 4th quarter that lifted the Yellowjackets to their first win in district play.
The teams would exchange blow-for-blow on the scoreboard in the 1st half with Gavin Hooper passing to Jacobi Barnett for a 21-yard touchdown pass. The 2 point conversion from Hooper to Zaine Lantz would connect for an early 8-0 lead.
Fredonia responded with a pass play of their own. Junior quarterback John Dutton connected with Cooper Odell for a 5-yard pass. Buddy Claibourn’s run into the endzone on the 2-point conversion would tie things up 8-8
The second quarter was a similar act as Gavin Hooper hooked up with Zaine Lantz on a 31-yard touchdown pass. The Chargers would try to go to the well once more, but the Yellowjacket defense thwarted the attempt. Cherryvale led 14-8.
Fredonia’s Dutton threw his 2nd touchdown of the night in the 2nd quarter when he hit junior wide receiver Layne Mayeske on an 87-yard pass. The point-after attempt was no good and at halftime, the teams were knotted up 14-14.
The first scoring play in the second half came from the Cherryvale defense as they were able to recover a muffed punt from Fredonia in the endzone for the safety to go up 16-14. The offense went on to score six minutes later with a Zane Lantz 1 yard run. For the 2nd time on the night the 2 point conversion failed, but the Chargers found themselves leading 22-14 going into the 4th.
The Yellowjackets drew even once again thanks to the arm of Dutton who hit Nick Hibbard on a 40-yard pass. The 2 point conversion by Cooper Odell tied up the ballgame 22-22 with 9:33 left to play in regulation.
After back and forth struggles, Fredonia went ahead with 1:18 left in the game on a Claibourn 1 yard dive. The point-after attempt was good and drew the final score of 29-22 with Fredonia on top.
Fredonia improved to 1-1 in district play and 3-2 overall. They will travel to Belle Plaine, who is undefeated in district play with an opportunity to shake up the 2A District 5 picture.
Cherryvale falls to 0-2 in district play and 2-3 overall. They look to pick up their first win in the district over Douglass, who is also 0-2.