FREDERICK — What a difference one year makes.
Exactly 357 days since Mead beat Frederick, 48-14 in 2020, the Warriors got their revenge in the 2021 rendition. Frederick’s running back trio of Parker Ayres, River Lakey and Cruz Zamudio accounted for six touchdowns in a 45-19 handling of the Mavericks in the regular-season finale for both teams.
“I think what you just saw was great high school football number one, but number two, Frederick played the best that we could play -— Offense, defense, our O-line, our running backs, and our blocking,” Frederick head coach Travis Peeples said. “The heart of these guys was unreal.”
It wasn’t just any old win, either. Frederick, which improved to 8-1 (3-1 Class 3A North Central 2), gave Mead (7-2, 3-1) its first league loss in the regular season finale. Additionally, the Warriors entered the contest No. 14 team in 3A RPI and did themselves a favor by taking down the No. 4 Mavericks with playoffs beginning next week.
The North Central 2 league now becomes complicated with Mead, Holy Family and Frederick all end the season 3-1. All three teams were also 1-1 against the other two following Frederick’s win, meaning additional tiebreakers come into play to determine the league champ.
With these stakes in mind, the Warriors went to work from the first whistle. Ayres ran 70 yards on their first play from scrimmage and Lakey punched in a 6-yard touchdown soon after. Their start got even better following an interception of Mead quarterback Gavin Garrettson to regain possession. That was soon turned into a 14-0 lead when Ayres found the end zone for his first of three scores.
Lakey, who Peeples deemed their “lighting in a bottle,” scored twice on the evening and Zamudio found the end zone once. Frederick’s stellar running attack couldn’t have happened without the O-line shining as well according to Peeples.
“Those guys wanted to take the game over and they dominated on the line of scrimmage,” Peeples said.
Warriors kicker Zane Doehring nailed a 42-yard field late in the first half to create a commanding 24-7 lead at the break.
For the Mavs, Corby Tecu was one of their few bright spots as the senior wideout reeled in two touchdowns in the third quarter. But Frederick kept the pressure on with another Ayres TD and a 45-yard Lakey score.
Defensively for Frederick, it was the Kooper Anderson show. The junior said he found success trying to be patient while reading the ball. He added that things became easier on the defensive end with the offense putting up points.
Both teams are headed for postseason play, which will begin next week. Just 16 teams make the 3A bracket.