ASHTON – Ten seconds into the second quarter, New Plymouth was an unstoppable offensive force.
For the 35 minutes and 50 seconds that followed Friday night, North Fremont became the immovable defensive object in a 44-19 state playoff win at North Fremont High School.
The visiting Pilgrims gave the home fans pause with scores on each of their first three possessions, taking a 19-7 lead with a TD run to start the second quarter.
New Plymouth wouldn’t see the end zone again as the home Huskies held the Pilgrims scoreless in the second half to advance to the 2A state semifinals.
“We came out flat, and even in warm-ups, we didn’t really have any real energy,” North Fremont senior lineman Hayeden Hood said. “I guess it took that 19-7 hole to really wake us up.”
North Fremont fumbled the ball twice in the first quarter, and New Plymouth converted both turnovers into touchdowns.
But after falling behind by 12 and giving up 199 yards in the first quarter, the North Fremont coaches called a timeout and dressed down the starting defensive lineup near midfield.
From that point, the boys in purple were back to their smashmouth ways, allowing just 178 the rest of the way — and many of those in garbage time.
“New Plymouth really came to play, and we knew they were going to move the ball on us in the passing game,” North Fremont senior Tyler Shulberg said. “We didn’t change anything up too much, but the line started getting pressure, and that got us some big sacks and interceptions.”
One of those sacks belonged to Shulberg, and both interceptions came courtesy of sophomore defensive back Jordan Lenz.
Another of those big sacks came on the shoulders of senior lineman Paul Wynn, who kept shooting through the New Plymouth line like some kind of QB-seeking missile.
“We knew we had to get intense and start playing our game,” Wynn said. “Once we did that and got disciplined, we started wearing them out.”
The running back tandem of Riggen Cordingley and Deshon Wheeler did some wearing out of New Plymouth on the other side of the ball, combining for 337 rushing yards.
Cordingley had all six of North Fremont’s touchdowns, scoring on runs of 43, 22, 21, 3, 3 and 3 yards.
New Plymouth quarterback Kobe Roberts threw for 202 and ran for 169, and Pilgrims’ wideout Derek Hampton had 171 receiving yards.
North Fremont (10-0) will play either McCall-Donnelly or Declo next week on a to-be-determined day and at a to-be-determined location.
NORTH FREMONT 44, NEW PLYMOUTH 19
New Plymouth 12 7 0 0 – 19
North Fremont 8 14 14 8 -- 44
NP – Derek Hampton 4 pass from Kobe Roberts (pass failed) 6:37
NF – Riggen Cordingley 3 run (Cordingley run) 2:51
NP – Roberts 69 run (pass failed) 1:57
NP – Roberts 2 run (Hampton kick) 11:50
NF – Cordingley 3 run (run failed) 8:01
NF – Cordingley 43 run (Jordan Lenz pass from Luke Hill) 7:07
NF – Cordingley 22 run (Deshon Wheeler run) 5:18
NF – Cordingley 3 run (run failed) :08
NF – Cordingley 21 run (Lenz pass from Hill) 4:36
RUSHING – New Plymouth: Roberts 21-169, Cooper Wilson 3-6. North Fremont: Cordingley 24-224, Wheeler 11-113, Hill 8-76, Cael Neeley 2-13.
PASSING – New Plymouth: Roberts: 14-27-2-202. North Fremont: Hill 2-3-1-8.
RECEIVING – New Plymouth: Hampton 9-171, Spencer Gordon 4-30, Coby Williams 1-1. North Fremont: Neeley 2-8.