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Freeport's Lynch lifts Kittanning

Ruediger | Leader Times - Freeport running back Damon Smith breaks the tackle of Kittanning's Sterling Henry during the first half at Kittanning High School on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. Louis B.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Ruediger | Leader Times</em></div>Freeport running back Damon Smith breaks the tackle of Kittanning's Sterling Henry during the first half at Kittanning High School on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. Louis B.
Ruediger | Leader Times - Kittanning quarterback Kevin Barnes is presured by Freeport's Alec Stivers during the first half at Kittanning High School on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. Louis B.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Ruediger | Leader Times</em></div>Kittanning quarterback Kevin Barnes is presured by Freeport's Alec Stivers during the first half at Kittanning High School on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. Louis B.
Ruediger | Leader Times - Kittanning's Zak Croyle, No. 20, is brought down by a Freeport defender during the first half at Kittanning High School on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. Louis B.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Ruediger | Leader Times</em></div>Kittanning's Zak Croyle, No. 20, is brought down by a Freeport defender during the first half at Kittanning High School on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. Louis B.

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Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, 11:48 p.m.
 

Freeport senior quarterback Brendan Lynch spent a large portion of training camp, including both scrimmages, on the sideline with an upper-body injury.

Apparently no rust developed while he rested.

Efficient, and at times explosive, Lynch guided the Yellowjackets downfield for three first-half touchdowns on the way to a 32-21 win over Allegheny Conference foe Kittanning on Friday night at David “Red” Ullom Field. Freeport, ranked No. 6 in Class AA by the Tribune-Review News Service, led, 26-0, after three quarters and survived a fourth-quarter rally.

“Sitting out those two weeks, it was tough because (Freeport's offense) just wasn't smooth,” said Lynch, who returned to practice full-time this past week. “We didn't look right. I knew if I came in, I could smooth things out a little bit.”

Freeport (1-0, 1-0) opened its first possession with a three-back, power run game and marched downfield, only to turn the ball over on a fumbled snap at Kittanning's 10-yard line. But the productivity — 65 yards rushing in the drive — forced the host Wildcats (0-1, 0-1) to respect the run, and the next time Lynch took a snap, he dropped back and tossed a 38-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Travis Hall.

Tight end Tony DeVivo also found himself alone during his 18-yard touchdown catch from Lynch midway through the second quarter.

In Freeport's other scoring drive of the second quarter, the Yellowjackets converted on fourth-and-3 from Kittanning's 24 with an 18-yard scramble through the middle of the defense by Lynch, who finished with 71 yards passing and 104 rushing.

Damon Smith scored from 6 yards out one play after Lynch's scramble to cap a first half in which he rushed 12 times for 80 yards. He finished with 137 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.

The debut of Kittanning's no-huddle spread offense included a hearty dose of mental mistakes and a few promising moments. The Wildcats ended the shutout early in the fourth quarter on Zac Croyle's 2-yard TD run. Then they allowed Freeport's Mike Teorsky to take the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a score that put the Yellowjackets up, 32-7.

Quarterback Kevin Barnes finished with 105 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to Mitch Pirhalla. He also accumulated 86 yards rushing in the game.

“We found a quarterback tonight — that was pretty evident,” Fabian said. “So that's one positive we can take from tonight.”

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at wwest@tribweb.com or 724-543-1303 Ext. 1321.

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