AKRON - Fredonia will be in the playoffs, but is no longer in the running for the Class C North title following a 27-10 loss at the hands of Akron on Friday.
The game got off to a promising start for the Hillbillies, who struck first on a 21-yard field goal off the foot of Trent Thompson.
A steady dose of Austin Mietz was enough for Akron to take over the lead before the first quarter was through.
The senior quarterback scored on a 3-yard run to kick off a huge night.
Mietz finished 13 of 19 for 159 yards through the air and carried 19 times for 162 yards on the ground.
"He's a three-year starter," Fredonia coach Bob Ball said of Mietz. "He did well with his arm and his legs tonight. Akron spreads it out and he can throw it."
And throw it Mietz did, connecting with Sturges Sundown on a 17-yard touchdown early in the second quarter to give Akron a 13-3 lead.
Fredonia chipped away at that lead before halftime when Weston Ley found the end zone from 6 yards out to close the gap to 13-10.
"We played with a lot of heart," Ball added. "We just didn't execute and make the plays you have to make to win these kind of games."
Akron got the ball to start the third quarter and it looked like the Hillbillies found their groove when they forced an incomplete pass on 3rd-and-10, but Fredonia was flagged for roughing the passer which gave the Tigers new life with an automatic first down.
Mietz made the penalty hurt by capping the drive with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Austin Lauricella.
"They played well," Ball continued. "Give Akron credit. They executed and made plays."
Down 20-10, Fredonia had a chance to answer back late in the third quarter. The Hillbillies were down to the goal line, but a fumble went out the back of the end zone, giving Akron the ball back at the 20-yard line.
"That one hurt," Ball admitted. "We had two turnovers. We dropped a long pass that would have put us down inside the 20. It was a nice pass and we didn't catch it. We had scoring opportunities, we just didn't execute."
Akron drove down the field, but a Fredonia takeaway swung the momentum again.
Mietz's pass was broken up and landed in the arms of Fredonia's Tory Grupa, who took the ball all the way back to the 50-yard line.
"It kind of gave us some momentum and got us going again," Ball said of the play.
The Tigers added one more score in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard touchdown pass from C.J. Longwell to Lauricella.
Fredonia now awaits the the results of next Saturday's game between JFK and Cleveland Hill to find out its playoff seeding. The Hillbillies could be anywhere from No. 2 to No. 4 depending on point differential.
NOTES: Ley carried the ball 12 times for 86 yards ... Tyler Cassidy, Matt McCarthy and Nick Nocek each recorded 10 tackles for Fredonia.