With at least a share of the early lead in the Cahokia Conference on the line Thursday, Freeburg football coach Ronnie Stuart thought a quick start was vital for the Midgets chances Thursday at Central High School.
Senior quarterback Cal Clossen made sure that happened.
Clossen threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brendan Meng less than two minutes into the game, then added a 55-yard strike to the speedy wide receiver four minutes later as Freeburg went on for a 28-0 win over the Cougars.
The win is the Midgets’ third straight to start the season and marks the first time since 2014 that they’ve started the season 3-0. Stuart’s team finished 2-7 a year ago and have won a combined five games in the last two years.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
The win also broke a two game losing streak for Freeburg against Central..
“Brendan (Meng) and I have played together for a while now. That helps,’’ Clossen said. “He reads defenses well, but tonight I thought the offensive line did a great job. They really deserve alot of the credit tonight.
“The difference between this team and the last two years? It’s chemistry. We all get along well and we all have the same goal which is to win football games.”
Orginally scheduled for Friday but pushed back day because of severe storms in the forecast, the early-season showdown was dominated from the start by the Midgets. Clossen put his team in control by completing 10 of 16 for 172 yards and adding a 12-yard scoring run late in the first half.
The swarming Midgets defense maintained the wide margin. With Central running back Jordan Spangenberg sitting out the first half for disciplinary reasons, the Midgets never let running back Tyson Lobb or quarterback Max Kampwerth get on track.
“Our defense was tremendous tonight. We gave up some points the first week and we played better last week. But tonight it was just a great all-around effort,’’ Stuart said. “I thought it was important that we come out and get out to a good start. Central’s a good football team that was opening their stadium.
“But we never let them get stated.”
Clossen connected with Meng on a 30-yard scoring play in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
“I don’t think playing on Thursday had any kind of affect on us. It sure felt like Friday night,’’ Stuart said. “We were ready from the start and Cal did another great job of running the offense.’’
Central, which falls to 2-1, executed a little better on the offense in the second half. Spangenberg made his presence known early in the third quarter, running for 30 yards then blocking a Midgets punt to give Central goof field position.
But like it did all night, the Midgets defense came up big.
“We got off to a slow start. We just weren’t ready to play tonight,’’ Cougars coach Brian Short said. “We knew the Meng kid was a threat. He’;s been burning us on the track for the last three years.’’