The Big Rapids Cardinals and Fremont Packers began their CSAA Gold slates on Friday night in Packer country. After a slow start, Big Rapids put together a strong second half that led to a 40-13 victory.

Justin Gorczewicz got the scoring started for the Cardinals with a 3-yard touchdown run. Fremont would respond with a 3-yard run of their own, as Justin Dirheimer found the end zone. A missed PAT left the Packers behind by a point after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Gorczewicz provided the lone offensive highlight. The senior scored from three yards out once again, extending the Big Rapids halftime lead to eight points, 14-6.

Wil Strickler joined the offensive attack for the Cardinals, as the quarterback tossed for two scores in the third quarter. The second one those passes was a 30-yard strike to his trusty companion Jamal Strickland, who showed his blistering speed on his way to the end zone.

After another Big Rapids touchdown pushed the lead to 40-6, Fremont would close the gap. Justin Dirheimer scored for the second time, an 18-yard burst.

Big Rapids outgained Fremont 368-284 in this contest. 246 of the Cardinals’ yards came on the ground. Justin Gorczewicz led the way with 124 yards on 16 carries, while Wil Strickler added 67 yards. Fremont was led offensively by Dirheimer, who turned 24 carries into 137 yards. Wei Chen led the Packers’ receivers with 92 yards.

Next week, Big Rapids will tangle with Newaygo in CSAA Gold action. Fremont will look for their first win of 2021 when they square off against Central Montcalm.