FREDERICK — Long before losing to sixth-ranked Roosevelt, the Frederick football team made it abundantly clear that this is a different Warriors team than the one that won just two games over the previous three seasons.
Having far surpassed the recent seasons’ accomplishments, the Warriors have since set their sights on the playoffs.
At home on Friday night, the Warriors (6-3, 2-2 Tri-Valley) fell 14-0 to the Roughriders (7-2, 3-1 Tri-Valley) in Week 9. But the Warriors’ bigger-picture concern is that the top 16 teams in Class 3A qualify for the state playoffs, and Frederick entered Friday’s game slotted 11th in the 3A RPI standings. Sixth-place Roosevelt was the Warriors’ penultimate regular-season game and fifth-place Erie is slated for their season finale, so the Warriors appear to be squarely on the bubble to make their first postseason appearance since 2013.
“It was our goal from the beginning of the season to make the playoffs and make a run, and that’s still before us,” Warriors head coach Travis Peeples said. “We feel like we’re going to win next week. That’s our goal. That’ll move us up in the RPI and get us into the playoffs. We want to be playing into December and clean up our mistakes and clean up some things.”
Though last year’s Tri-Valley League game ended 49-0 in favor of Roosevelt, this fall’s rematch saw both teams struggle to get anything going on offense. The teams’ offenses combined for 87 yards in the first half. Aided by a short field and personal foul penalties on back-to-back plays, the Roughriders scored first on a six-play drive that went 35 yards and ended in a two-yard run from Dylan Koretko to open the scoring with 25.8 seconds left in the first half.
The Roughriders then opened the second half 14-play, 80-yard drive that gave them the 14-0 lead that would hold up until the final buzzer.
“Tonight we played a tough team,” Peeples said. “We felt like we went toe-to-toe with them. Week-in and week-out, we kind of hurt ourselves with penalties and that’s something we need to clean up. But take nothing away from them, they’re a good football team and they beat us tonight.”
While the Warriors offense struggled overall, Frederick quarterback Jacob Green found a rhythm in the hurry-up offense late in the game to finish with a season-best 115 yards passing and completed 13 of his 18 attempts in game. James Jones, who entered Friday’s game as the Warriors’ leading rusher with 892 yards, was held to 15 yards on 11 carries, and the Warriors offense totaled just 162 yards. Much of the Warriors’ good work, however, was offset by 60 yards in penalties.
The Warriors will take on Erie, which is currently ranked fourth in Class 3A by the CHSAANow.com poll, at 7 p.m. next Friday.
Roosevelt 14, Frederick 0
At Frederick H.S.
Roosevelt — Dylan Koretko 2 run (Koretko run).
Roosevelt — Connery O’Donnell 6 pass from Trent Beall (run short).
RUSHING — Roosevelt: Angelo Hurtado 13-42, Jared Sterkel 7-23, Trent Beall 10-16, Noah Craig 4-1, Dylan Koretko 2-9. Frederick: Matt Olsen 8-19, James Jones 11-15, Jacob Cole 6-12, Jacob Green 9-4, Kyle Polansky 1-(-3).
PASSING — Roosevelt: Trent Beall 8-13-0-49. Frederick: Jacob Green 13-18-0-115.
RECEIVING — Roosevelt: Tannor Shuffler 2-24, Jared Sterkel 3-22, TJ Sterling 2-2, Jakob Morey 1-1. Frederick: Matt Olsen 4-36, Kyle Polansky 4-33, Dante Ciaravola 2-23, Dylan Sindelar 1-11, Jacob Cole 1-8, Johnathan Elliott 1-4.