Thursday night’s high school football matchup between Fremont and Lynbrook saw the home team Firebirds fly ferociously through the visiting Vikings defense. Senior tailback Lenny Sinapati led the way with a standout performance on the ground. The bruising six-foot, one-inch tailback led the way, trucking defenders to the tune of 156 yards on 17 carries, an astounding 9.2 yards-per-carry average, and two touchdowns. Fremont went up 14-0 quickly in the first quarter en route to an eventual 41-7 win.
“I think he had his best game so far as a running back,” said Fremont Head Coach Rob Swartz on his lead tailback. “He was making people miss, he was making plays on his own when there wasn’t really anything there. He turned some plays that looked like a short loss into a seven or eight yard gain, so he did a fantastic job.”
While Sinapati plays a more traditional style from the tailback position, being able to use his size and speed to break away from defenders, the Firebirds have another weapon in their backfield who is quite different from most runners. First and foremost, fellow senior TJ Takafua is a fullback who sees numerous carries each game, not typical of most offenses. Takafua is also on the wrestling team for Fremont and is listed at 6’0, 310 pounds. He is nearly impossible for smaller defenders to bring down to the ground. Against Lynbrook, Takafua was frequently Sinapati’s lead blocker, but he also ran himself six times for 46 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s an interesting athlete, he goes into the weight room and he can bench 225 20 times,” said Swartz on his bruising fullback. “He’s a wrestler, so as far as his pad level, his knee bend and athleticism, he’s gotten a lot of that from being a wrestler. He’s really explosive for how big he is, he has explosive quickness and you just don’t see that very often from someone his size.”
“He’s been fantastic blocking for me,” added Sinapati on Takafua. “I couldn’t have scored those touchdowns without him.”
Scoring touchdowns on the ground with relative ease, the Firebirds didn’t need to do much in the pass game Thursday, but when they did it was effective. Quarterback Bronson Stein completed only four passes, but three of them went for touchdowns. Two of which were caught by senior receiver Zade Aufang, a big six-foot, five-inch, 218-pound wide receiver.
“Two plays, two receptions, two scores,” joked coach Swartz on Aufang’s offensive efficiency from his wide receiver spot on Thursday. “At 6’4, 6’5, whatever it is, he’s just a big time target for us in the passing game.”
A strong passing game and dominant running game have led the way for Fremont who improves to 3-2 on the season with the win over the Vikings. The previous two seasons the Firebirds finished just 1-4 and 1-9. All the hard work is starting to pay off for this year’s senior-heavy squad as they look to finish at the top of the El Camino league this season. Still a long way to go, though, with five games remaining on the schedule. Next up on said schedule is a game Friday at Cupertino on Oct. 8.