FREDONIA – The Fredonia Yellowjackets outscored Bluestem 43-8 in the first half en route to a 43-14 final score on Friday night.

While the final score was lopsided, the stats showed a tough battle offensively.

Fredonia had 228 total offensive yards compared to Bluestem’s 172. The Yellowjackets threw for 81 yards while rushing for 147 yards on the ground. In fact, Fredonia was 1-of-6 on third-down conversions (17%). Bluestem’s offense put up 131 yards on the ground and 41 yards through the air. They converted 3 of 10 on third down. The Lions struggled with field position throughout the night.

The difference in the game was thanks to Fredonia’s defensive effort with 4 blocked punts that set up the short-yardage situations.

Fredonia’s Taron Ward scored three of the five offensive scores. Ward put his Yellowjackets on the board first with an early 5-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. His other two scores came in the 2nd quarter with a 10 and 12-yard run respectively. The other offensive scores from Fredonia that didn’t involve Ward was from quarterback John Dutton when he threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Nick Hibbard and a Buddy Claibourn rushing touchdown. Layne Mayeske scored defensively for Fredonia on a 21-yard pick-six.

In addition to the Mayeske pick-six, Hibbard recovered 1 of 2 fumbles.

Claibourn ledFredonia in rushing with 70 yards, Ward wasn’t too far behind with 65 yards. Dutton was 2-of-4 with 53 yards passing and 1 touchdown.

Leon-Bluestem quarterback Nic Laidler was 3-of-6 with 41 yards passing 1 touchdown. He also led the team in rushing with 68 yards, including an 18 yard scramble.

Fredonia (2-1) opens up district play on the road against Eureka (2-1). It will be the first home varsity football game for Eureka High School since 2017.

Leon-Bluestem (0-3) will host a battered Pleasanton BluJay squad (1-2) in non-district action; the Blujays lost in overtime on Friday night.