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PLAIN CITY — Fremont defensive lineman Jake Gallegos was all smiles after the Silver Wolves' 15-3 win over Syracuse on Friday night.
The senior and team captain, covered in mud from his cleats to his helmet, was ecstatic about his team's hard-fought victory over a very athletic Syracuse team. The win upped Fremont's record to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in Region 1 and more importantly, clinched at least a share of the region title.
"We haven't won the region yet, but we're in the driver's seat for sure," Gallegos said. "We need to beat Layton next week. We want to win it outright."
Fremont, 5A runner-up from a year ago, is poised for another playoff run and regardless of what happens next week against Layton, will be the region's top seed.
Syracuse opened the scoring on a 35-yard field goal by Brock Anderson at the 4:45 mark in the first quarter.
Fremont answered in the second quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run by Nick Vigil with a two-point conversion pass from Jordan Preator to Brock Smith to give the Silver Wolves an 8-3 lead.
Fremont extended its lead to 15-3 in the third quarter on an interception returned for a touchdown by Gallegos. Gallegos jumped up to bat down a Trevor Davis pass but instead caught the ball and ran 23 yards for the score.
"It was magical, I think," Gallegos said of the score. "I put my hand up to bat the ball and it just happened to land in my hands and so I just decided to run with it. I had great blocking from the rest of my team those guys were everywhere. I got in untouched because of those guys.
While the Fremont offense chewed up clock, the Silver Wolves' defense made play after play to keep Syracuse out of the end zone. Fremont tallied five sacks and two interceptions stalling every Syracuse drive in the second half. The turnovers coming on the Gallegos pick six and by Rowdy Stucki's interception at the Fremont 1-yard line. Fremont also forced a turnover on downs after Syracuse had driven to within the 10-yard line. The Titans took their shots but couldn't capitalize on their best drive.
"All of our kids came up big tonight. It was a total team win," said Fremont head coach Kory Bosgeiter. "They were all in tonight. Our defense, those guys were together, our whole team was together. Our kids rose to the occasion. We have really good kids."
With the loss, Syracuse drops to 5-3 overall and 1-3 in Region 1 play.
Syracuse will have to beat Weber next week and hope for a Layton loss to make the playoffs as the region's fourth seed.
The grinning Gallegos was happy his team was able to walk away from this mucky, muddy game with a victory against a quality opponent.
"Syracuse is one of the best teams in the region, they have a bunch of studs," Gallegos said. "We knew that this was going to be a battle and it was."