FREDERICKTOWN – The marching band represented the only folks donning Fredericktown uniforms who could stop Kasson Krownapple on Friday night.
But the spirited halftime show did little to cheer up the Freddie faithful, who sat in driving rain and watched as the East Knox Bulldogs tallied 508 total yards in the first half of their 54-7 Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference rout.
“It was a really, really exciting game for us,” Krownapple said. “We preached all week that we had to fix a bunch of little things. We didn’t quite get it done last week, but we did the little things this week.”
Krownapple was magic every time he touched the ball in the first half. He rushed for 212 yards on just 12 carries and three touchdowns, including a scoring rush of 89 yards. Just for good measure, Krownapple added a 95-yard kickoff return for another score.
By halftime, the East Knox senior had 342 all-purpose yards, and his team held a 47-7 advantage. Krownapple then had to sit and wait out the halftime show, anxious to hit the field again.
“We have to finish,” Krownapple said. “We have to focus on what we can do.”
His performance even wowed coach Cody Reese, who wasn’t aware of his yardage totals until after the game.
“He (Krownapple) is one of our team captains, and he takes that seriously,” Reese said. “He takes on all stresses – good and bad – and encompasses everything that is meant to be in a leader. He walks the walk and talks the talk.”
East Knox quarterback Kadden Lester put in a nearly flawless performance as well. Despite the wet conditions, Lester completed all eight of his passes for 275 yards and four touchdowns.
Two of those touchdowns went to senior Dawson Moreland, who finished with 138 yards. Moreland’s scores looked very much like Krownapple’s: A lot of running through Fredericktown defenders.
Fredericktown showed some life on offense, putting together a pair of decent drives in the game. One ended in the team’s lone score, a 20-yard strike from quarterback Terry Fearn to Jake Partington.
Fearn finished 5-of-15 for 64 yards. Partington caught two passes for 38 yards.
Jack Fitzpatrick led the Freddies on the ground with 61 yards on 17 carries.
Fredericktown dressed only 24 players for Friday’s game. Nearly every starter on offense also began the game on defense.
The Bulldogs (7-1) needed the victory after suffering their first loss last week in a heartbreaker at home against Northmor. They need wins over Highland and Danville in the next two weeks to not only lock up a KMAC title, but possibly their first playoff bid since 2005.
Before the game, the Dogs were reminded that in last year’s encounter, Fredericktown pulled off the upset and started East Knox’s downward spiral to end the season.
There was no such spiral this time around.
After holding Fredericktown (1-7) to three-and-out, the Bulldogs needed six plays to drive 70 yards, capped by Krownapple’s 4-yard dive into the endzone.
East Knox ran five more plays in the first quarter. Two of them were touchdowns of 50-plus yards each from Lester to Moreland.
The Bulldogs’ longest drive came next. They ran seven plays before Krownapple scored on a 49-yard sprint.
Their final score of the first half came with 22 seconds to go. Lester found Gage Steinmetz all alone in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown pass.
“We still have things to work on, and we’ll fix that,” Reese said. “If we want to win a league title and be in the playoffs this season, we have to win out. That’s just the way it is.”
Fredericktown hosts Cardington next Friday at 7 p.m. for Senior Night.