Despite having to take off the last two weeks, Frederica Academy’s football team showed perseverance and upset Valwood 36-13 on the road improving to 1-0.
Valwood got the ball to start the game, and Frederica’s defense made an immediate stance.
“We played with great effort, and the kids played hard,” Frederica Academy coach Brandon Derrick said. “We made a few mistakes early, but I expected that. I told them to keep playing through it, and I thought they did a really good job.
“I think the coaches did a great job with the rotations and trying to keep people fresh as possible, and it really paid off there at the end.”
Jacob Aiken sacked Valwood’s quarterback Pate Hogan on third down, forcing a punt. Eli Fritchman returned the punt to the Valiants’ 15-yard line.
One play later, Kyle Perez totes it 15 yards for the touchdown to give the Knights a 6-0 lead. It would be the first of three scores for the senior.
Both defenses controlled the first half and held the opposing offenses out of the end zone. However, Frederica drove it downfield and made a 30-yard field goal to hold a 9-0 lead at halftime.
Frederica got the ball to start the half and put its foot on the gas pedal. The Knights opened up the third quarter and wasted no time getting their offense going. Freshman running back Jordan Triplett toted the rock 56 yards to give Frederica a 16-0 advantage.
Bryce Reilly blocked a punt on the Valiants’ next drive, giving the Knights excellent field position again. Three running plays later, Perez ran it in for a five-yard touchdown — his second.
Frederica worked through a handful of penalties throughout the game, but that defense found ways to stop Valwood’s potent offense.
Jacob Aiken recorded at least three sacks. Will Counts and Will Thompson also got into Valwood’s backfield and recorded sacks.
“I thought Aiken played really well with it being his first year with us,” Derrick said. “I thought he did a good job doing what we needed him to do. He did a good job with the blitz and keeping the outside contained. With us getting three sacks that was big for us.”
The Valiants offense wouldn’t stay silent as Bay Moorman toted it one yard for Valwood’s first score, making it 23-7 with 5:30 left in the third quarter.
Perez got his final score of the game off a 65-yard run to make it 29-7 with 7:46 to go in the game.
Valwood responded with a 43-yard touchdown pass but failed the 2-point conversion to make it 29-13 with 4:02 left to play.
Frederica didn’t let off the gas, and Triplett scored the game’s final touchdown with a 32-yard run to secure the 36-13 win.
The Knights collected a total of 173 yards just on touchdown runs between Perez and Triplett. Derrick said he thought those guys ran hard, but it was in big part to the offensive lines.
“I thought they ran the ball extremely well, and I thought they did a great job,” Derrick said. “We’re going to lean on our offensive and defensive line to make plays, and those guys did a pretty good job.
“They made them one dimensional throwing the ball on defense. We got a few things to fix on defense, but other than that, they did a really good job. There will be a few things to fix up that I saw in the game, but I thought the kids played really hard and gave great effort.”
The Knights improve to 1-0 on the season while Valwood falls to 1-1. Frederica hits the road again next week as the Knights travel to Calvery Day in Savannah.