Lynch leads Freeport past Shady Side Academy
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Freeport bounced back from last week's upset loss to Valley in a big way Friday night.
Travis Hall returned the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown as Freeport defeated Shady Side Academy, 28-14, in an Allegheny Conference game at James Swartz Stadium.
Yellowjackets senior Brendan Lynch ran for 184 yards and a touchdown, passed for 121 yards and a touchdown and picked off two fourth-quarter passes to preserve the victory.
Freeport (4-1, 4-1) is a game behind first-place Burrell in the conference, while Shady Side (3-2, 3-2) is tied with Valley for third place.
The win also gave the Yellowjackets an 11-8 lead in the all-time series between the two schools.
“The Valley game is in the past, and I'm proud of all the kids, the way they responded and rebounded,” Freeport coach John Gaillot said.After the opening kickoff was booted out of bounds, Freeport was anxious to set up a return and took the rare kickoff penalty yardage instead of getting the ball at the 35.
Hall found a large gap to the left of the Shady Side Academy coverage team and brought the Yellowjackets fans to their feet early.
Shady Side responded with a 59-yard scoring drive, culminated with a 2-yard run by Dennis Briggs, who set up the score with a 32-yard pass from Matt Granato.
Freeport got the lead back on a 71-yard pass from Lynch to Mike Teorsky, who ran a slant play from the right side.
The Yellowjackets appeared ready to score again just before the half. Freeport drove to the Indians' 5 on a 14-yard pass to Dustin Koedel.
With time running out, the officials warned Freeport not to snap the ball until they were given the signal and the ball was ready for play. The Yellowjackets were too anxious and were assessed a 5-yard penalty, and the half expired.
Hall recovered a fumble on Shady Side's first play from scrimmage in the third quarter.
That set up a three-play, 55-yard drive with Lynch tiptoeing along the sideline 43 yards for the score.
“Travis is having an outstanding year for us on defense and with a limited time on offense,” Gaillot said.
Added Lynch: “We had to rely on everyone executing well tonight, and we were able to make the big plays. We know Shady Side's a tough opponent, and we'd be in for a dogfight.”
Tryel Hill caught a 27-yard pass from Granato to bring the Indians within 21-14. Shady Side then stopped Freeport on downs at its 10 to prevent another Yellowjackets score.
But the Indians couldn't take advantage as Lynch picked off a pass at the Indians' 31. That led to an 18-yard scoring run by Koedel to give Freeport a 28-14 advantage.
Shady Side's late drive was halted by Lynch's second interception deep in Freeport territory with 30 seconds to go to complete a strong Yellowjackets effort.
“That's why I love it here; we're a bunch of blue-collar kids who are just hard-working,” Gaillot said. “We came out and played backyard football tonight; I told them to have some fun.”
George Guido is a freelance witer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.