BERTHOUD — Both Frederick and Berthoud understand the importance of every single game in what has become one of the best leagues in the state, the Tri-Valley.
Getting a result is paramount.
The visiting Warriors continued their remarkable turnaround under coach Travis Peeples and after building what looked like an insurmountable 24-7 lead late in the third quarter, held on for a 24-21 victory over the Spartans, who drop to 0-3 in the Tri-Valley after as 5-0 start.
"Our offense wanted the ball in their hands to close it out," said Peeples, whose team — currently No. 15 in the RPI — improved to 6-2 overall and 2-1 in the TVL. "Give them credit, they are a great football team ... but at the end of the day, we punched ourselves in the gut a little bit with all these penalties.
"We are just happy we won the game."
The Warriors led 17-7 at the half and their domination of the line of scrimmage became more apparent in the long and drawn out third quarter — a quarter that never felt like it had any rhythm for either side.
Berthoud had chances, but the Spartans shot themselves in the foot late in the quarter. Wyatt Woodrick fumbled on back-to-back plays. He was able to jump on the first one, but the second was scooped up by Warriors senior Mateo Rives who rumbled inside the Spartans 5-yard line to set up a score.
"It was a big one and it wasn't just me, it was all the boys," said Rives, who was easy to spot with his shiny gold shoes. "Linebackers stepped up and coverage really helped us the most with their quarterback having to hold on to it.
"Overall the defense played great."
Berthoud didn't go away without a fight. The Spartans went to the passing game with quarterback Brock Voth and cut the lead to 24-14 going to the fourth when he connected with Jacob Rafferty on a 34-yard score.
The Spartans were the beneficiaries of several short fields in the fourth quarter and capitalized on a Miguel Sarmiento interception of Jacob Green midway through the quarter when Voth threw his third touchdown pass of the game — this one to Ryan Schmad from four yards out.
"Coach (Peeples) is doing a great job over there and he has brought a new enthusiasm to Frederick and they are playing hard," said Berthoud coach Troy Diffendaffer, whose team entered the game No. 13 in the RPI. "It's our job to stop them and put them off schedule and get them behind the chains and force them to throw and we did.
"We had plenty of opportunities and we gave ourselves a chance, but just couldn't capitalize."
Frederick's defense came up with one last defensive stand with under three minutes to go and turned the Spartans over on downs near midfield.
"Our defense played great, they played lights out," Peeples said. "We got a great team win today."
Frederick's James Jones eclipsed the 100 yard mark, rushing for 101 yards on 22 carries. The three-headed monster for the Warriors — including Jacob Cole and Matt Olsen — accounted for 244 yards.
FREDERICK 24, BERTHOUD 21
At Berthoud's Max Marr StadiumFrederick (6-2, 2-1)01770—24
Berthoud (5-3, 0-3)0777—21
Frederick — FG Luke Dunker 29.
Frederick — Dante Ciaravola 13 pass from Jacob Green (Dunker kick).
Berthoud — Jacob Lozinski 25 pass from Brock Voth (Ryan Schmad kick).
Frederick — Matt Olsen 5 run (Dunker kick).
Frederick — Olsen 2 run (Dunker kick).
Berthoud — Jacob Rafferty 34 pass from Voth (Schmad kick).
Berthoud — Schmad 4 pass from Voth (Schmad kick).
RUSHING — Frederick: James Jones 22-101, Jacob Cole 12-87, Matt Olsen 15-57, Jacob Green 2-(minus-3). Berthoud: AJ Anema 15-83, Wyatt Woodrick 9-46, Brock Voth 7-40.
PASSING — Frederick: Green 7-17-1-88, Olsen 1-2-0-35. Berthoud: Voth 15-30-1-156.
RECEIVING — Frederick: Cole 4-33, Dante Ciaravola 3-58, Olsen 1-32. Berthoud: Danny Pelphrey 6-37, Jacob Rafferty 4-61, Jacob Lozinski 3-51, Ryan Schmad 1-4, Anema 1-3.