SPARTA, NJ – Sparta High School football lost their Friday night game to Shawnee 44 to 25 on Cassels field. The pandemic's effect on high school sports led to the match up. Originally scheduled to play Lenape Valley, Shawnee agreed to make the long trip up north from Medford when Lenape Valley backed out.
Shawnee had not played a game since Halloween, according to Sparta Athletic Director Steve Stoner. He said despite their 0-5 record going into the game, they are ranked within the top 20 teams in New Jersey.
The Spartans were first on the board, scoring on their first possession. The Renegades answered back two plays later. Shawnee took advantage of a fumble recovery scoring again with in minutes. They were able to put up 20 points in the first quarter.
Sparta came back stronger in the second quarter on both sides of the ball. Offense was able to get into the end zone twice though they could not get either extra point. Defense was able to hold Shawnee to one touchdown.
Held scoreless in the third quarter Sparta was able to get six more before the final whistle.
Sparta quarterback Austen Frattura crossed the goal line on a short run for the first six points. Kevin Struble scored Sparta’s next touchdown on a 30 yard pass from QB Kevin Frattura. Frattura connected with Colby Plotts for a 35 yards and a touchdown. The final Sparta score, Frattura went to Struble again with a six yard toss.
Frattura was ranked 21 in the state based on passing statistics for completed passes, attempted passes, yards, touchdowns and interceptions. Frattura completed 86 passes on 133 attempts for 1042 yards and eight TDs. He had only two interceptions.
Sparta will host Randolph on Wednesday, November 25, the final scheduled game of the season. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. COVID-19 policies established by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association or NJSIAA high school football teams will not compete in playoffs but have the opportunity to play two teams outside their conference, determined by NJSIAA according to Stoner.