By SHANNON DOVE
Heading into Week 3 of the football season, Fostoria High School coach Derek Kidwell expected to see a better effort than he had the previous week. He got more than just better — he got record breaking.
Senior Maalik Tucker set school records with 392 rushing yards and 30 points on five touchdowns and a 2-point conversion to lead the Redmen past Cardinal Stritch 49-19 Friday night at Memorial Stadium in nonconference play. The previous records were 318 yards and 28 points by Ryan Hook against Shelby in 2003.
Fostoria’s offense totaled 561 yards, all on the ground. In the first half alone, the Redmen rushed for 261 yards, more than the total yardage in each of the team’s first two games.
“We thought we had a size advantage, a strength advantage against these guys,” Kidwell said. “The way they were trying to line up defensively didn’t make a lot of sense to me, how they were trying to defend us, so we kept it very basic tonight.
“I thought our offensive line played hard, I thought they executed and I thought all of our running backs, when they had opportunities, ran well.”
Fostoria scored on its first possession of the game, an 11-play, 92-yard drive capped by a 7-yard run by Jadyn Miller, who had runs of 26 and 30 yards earlier in the drive.
Miller rushed for his second touchdown at 9:02 of the second quarter, finishing another 92-yard drive in 13 plays and 6:21.
Later in the quarter, Alec Cummings caught a 48-yard scoring pass from Thomas Foust, cutting the score to 14-6 with 1:09 remaining in the first half. Stritch tried an onside kick and recovered the ball but was unable to capitalize on the opportunity, turning the ball over to the Redmen on downs on their own 32-yard line.
Tucker, who carried 18 times on the night, scored on the first play of the drive, stepping through a hole in the line and dashing 68 yards to the end zone. Jacob Franklin’s kick was good and the Redmen headed into halftime with a 21-6 lead.
The Redmen got the ball to open the second half, and after a 2-yard run by Miller on first down, Tucker sprung through the line and downfield again, this time for a 78-yard touchdown and a 27-6 lead just 19 seconds into the third quarter.
Stritch went three and out on its next possession, but a Redmen fumble on the punt was recovered by the Cardinals at the Fostoria 25. Paul Latz pulled in a 15-yard scoring pass from Foust to cut the lead to 27-12 at 6:16.
It then took the Redmen just 17 seconds to score. Tucker ran for 59 yards before being hauled down at the Stritch 6, then picked up the last six yards for a 33-12 score.
The Cardinals scored on their next drive with the help of a pair of Redmen penalties. Latz finished the drive with a 2-yard carry and kicked the extra point, putting the score at 33-19, a margin that held through the end of the third quarter.
Tucker scored on the first play of the fourth period. With Miller blocking, he cut right and ran 36 yards. Quarterback Mauricio ran for the 2-point conversion for a 41-19 Redmen lead at 11:50.
Tucker sprinted 49 yards for his final touchdown of the game, then ran for the conversion, giving Fostoria a 49-19 lead.
“I have to thank my line,” Tucker said. “They were a big help for me. I can’t go anywhere without them.
“Once we started, we got a click, it felt good and we didn’t want to stop. We kept pushing and pushing and once (the dam) breaks we just kept the momentum up.”
Cardinal Stritch 0 6 13 0 — 19
Fostoria 6 15 12 16 — 49
FHS — Miller 7 run (kick failed)
FHS — Miller 5 run (Chavana pass from Mauricio)
CS — Cummings 48 pass from Foust (pass failed)
FHS — Tucker 68 run (Franklin kick)
FHS — Tucker 78 run (kick failed)
CS — Latz 15 pass from Foust (kick failed)
FHS — Tucker 6 run (kick failed)
CS — Latz 2 run (Latz kick)
FHS — Tucker 36 run (Mauricio run)
FHS — Tucker 49 run (Tucker run)