Last Thursday in ISU’s opening season loss at Indiana, Fritschle was a perfect 5-5 on extra points and placed two kickoffs into the end zone. But it was a kickoff that he purposely didn’t put in the end zone that may have been his biggest kick of the game.
Kicking off after a Sycamore touchdown late in the second quarter, Fritschle placed a perfect squib kick at the IU 14. The Hoosier returner never cleanly came up with the ball, and Calvin Burnett at the IU two eventually recovered it, and Burnett easily carried the ball into the end for a Sycamore touchdown. Fritschle’s extra point cut the IU to 45-21 just before halftime, giving the Sycamore’s hope heading into the second half. The resulting ISU kickoff also gave Fritschle the unusual-for-a-kicker privilege of being on the field for four consecutive plays.
“It’s crazy, I’ve never really seen that. It’s special when the kicker doesn’t get to come off the field for four plays in a row,” said Fritschle after the game.
While the planned squib kick hurts his kickoff average, Fritschle doesn’t mind the personal statistical infringement.
“We planned all of those for that, it’s just something that’s part of our game plan, we executed nicely, that was really good,” said Fritschle. “Kickoff average is good, but it’s all about of the team. So if I sacrifice 20-30 yards on a kick it hurts the average, but we pen them inside the 25 or they bring it out on a touchback, that’s all the more better for our defense, our offense, and potentially our field goal team as well.”
Fritschle is the last of three former Hatchets who have played for ISU in the recent years. Joe McCormick walked on and played his freshman year for the Sycamores in 2011 before leaving the team to concentrate on academics. Ben Obaseki completed one of the finest careers for an ISU defensive lineman last season and was invited to the Green Bay Packers mini camp earlier this year. The man who coached all three athletes at Washington, Kelly Brashear, feels one day both Obaseki and Fritschle could be playing on Sundays.