Freeport tops East Allegheny
Freeport survived a frantic second quarter to defeat East Allegheny, 36-20, in an Allegheny Conference game Friday night at Churchman Memorial Stadium.
The teams combined to score 40 points in the second quarter, most of which came after Freeport (6-1, 6-1) appeared to have complete control against the Wildcats (1-6, 1-6).
“We just continued to have fun out there and play backyard football,” Freeport coach John Gaillot said. “I don't want any pressure on these kids the rest of the season.”
Freeport senior quarterback Brendan Lynch rushed for 227 yards and two scores on 19 carries to lead Freeport. Lynch also completed 2 of 6 passes for 47 yards and a pair of touchdowns. East Allegheny quarterback Kyle Whipple was 11 of 23 for 174 yards and a pair of scores. K.J. Marshall had seven catches for 127 yards and a score, and added 76 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Freeport had 454 yards — 404 on the ground.
“We had a good game plan this week,” Lynch said. “They have a very athletic defense, and I just followed my blocks and found the open holes. All week, we preached that we had to come out and play the same kind of game we played last week against Burrell. We had to avoid a letdown.”
The second half opened with Freeport leading, 27-20. Jesse Hubert started the half with what appeared to be a return for a touchdown, but it was called back because of a penalty. That was actually not a bad thing: Freeport took nearly six minutes off the clock and, even though there was no score, it thwarted any momentum that East Allegheny brought from the second quarter.
“Freeport really prepared well,” East Allegheny coach Jason Ruscitto said. “I respect what they do, but I think we did leave some plays on the field.”
Freeport was in control after it scored on the first play of the second quarter to go up by 13. On the ensuing kickoff, Taizjon Brown took a pitch from Martell Crosby and ran 73 yards for a touchdown.
The Yellowjackets took the next possession and scored quickly, needing just five plays to march 60 yards. The drive ended with Lynch's second score of the game, this one a 9-yard run.
Things got a little touchy for East Allegheny's Shawn Adair after that. On consecutive possessions, he dropped potential touchdown catches. The first was with 7:21 to play in the half. The Wildcats could not convert a fourth-down pass to Adair on the next play, and the drive ended.
Freeport answered with a four-play drive that ended with Lynch connecting with Josh Wisniewski for a 23-yard touchdown.
On first down from the Freeport 14, a throw again passed through Adair's hands. After the play as Adair sat on the field, he took off his helmet and slammed it to the ground, drawing a personal foul. On the next play, Marshall was dropped for an 8-yard loss and, two plays later, Whipple was sacked to end the drive.
Thomas Zuck is a freelance writer.