KAYSVILLE — Only in Region 1 could a defensive score three plays after the opening kickoff decide a football game, but Cash Hancock's opportunistic thinking made it possible Wednesday night.
The Fremont lineman scooped up a backward screen pass in the opening minute and raced 35 yards for what turned out to be the winning score in the Silver Wolves' methodical 14-6 victory over Davis.
"It's big for our kids, it's big for our school, it's big for our community, I'm really proud of kids, they're fighters," said Fremont coach Kory Bosgieter. "Sometimes things don't look good but they just keep fighting and fighting and fighting."
Davis outgained Fremont offensively 323 to 130, but none of it mattered after the Darts spotted the visitors a touchdown.
The victory was Fremont's eighth straight after a season-opening loss to Jordan, and clinching the region title at Davis was particularly sweet after losing to the Darts 28-6 at home last year.
"Last year they came in and beat us by about three touchdowns, so we really wanted this one and we felt like we played a lot better this time," said Fremont running back Nick Vigil, who accounted for almost all of his team's offense with 117 rushing yards on 23 carries.
Hancock made it all possible. Almost everyone assumed Gavin Fowler's screen pass was just an incomplete pass, but Hancock recognized otherwise. Ironically enough, Hancock fumbled the ball himself near the goal line, but the refs determined the ball broke the plane of the goal line first.
"Cash is one of those guys, he lives on a farm, he works his tails off everyday and works his tail off on the field every day," said Bosgieter.
Despite conceding the early touchdown, Davis still enjoyed a productive first half finishing with 201 yards of total offense and marching in Fremont's red zone twice — settling for a pair of Parker Bass field goals. The trend didn't last into the second half as Fremont's defense buckled down.
Davis' defense was just as stingy, with the second half evolving into a showcase for the punters.
"We've been flying around on defense, and getting some takeaways," said Bosgieter.
Fremont's defense came up big again on a fourth down stop near midfield with 3:06 remaining in the game.
Fremont's workhorse tailback promptly moved the ball deep into Davis territory with runs of 3, 17, 7 and 4. Out of timeouts, the Darts' conceded a six-yard rushing touchdown to Vigil as Fremont increased its lead to 14-6 with 1:36 remaining.
The desperation ploy came close to paying off.
Fowler completed three straight passes to move Davis down to Fremont's 28 yard line with 21 seconds remaining. Unfortunately for the Darts, a dead ball personal foul penalty backed them up 15 yards, and Fowler's three desperation heaves in the waning seconds came agonizingly close to being completed near the goal line.
It was a rough evening for Fowler who completed only 14 of 33 passes for 137 yards as Davis suffered its first loss of the season.
Fremont will have an extra week to prepare of the 5A playoffs with a bye next week, while Davis will look to regroup with a road game at Roy.