Bethlehem Liberty – Bethlehem Freedom preview
The Game: Bethlehem Liberty (11 AAAA) @ Bethlehem Freedom (11 AAAA)
Date: Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, from Frank Banko Field @ BASD Stadium, Bethlehem
2008 Record: Bethlehem Liberty (8-1), Bethlehem Freedom (8-1)
About Bethlehem Liberty: After a tough Week 1 loss to a very strong North Penn squad, the Hurricanes have roared to life, winning eight straight games. The streak began with handing defending Eastern champion Parkland its second straight loss, and embedded along the way were dominant victories over Allentown Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, and Easton. Liberty is averaging 37 points per game on offense.
Braden Bader (RB), Anthony Gonzales (QB), and Devin Street (WR) are the top threats for the Liberty offense, which has topped the 40-point mark five times in the last seven weeks.
Liberty has gone 55-9 since the start of the 2004 season, and are just two victories away from a fifth straight season of 10 wins or more. The Hurricanes have won four District 11 titles and 2 eastern championships.
The Canes scored a school record 618 points in 2006, and 522 points the season before that, finishing as the PIAA runner-up in those two seasons.
About Bethlehem Freedom: Don’t automatically discredit the Patriots – the black and gold have won 17 of their past 21 games. Granted, Freedom has never hoisted a District 11 football championship, nor has the Patriot program ever played a PIAA playoff game, but at the recent rate of the Patriots’ success, one would guess those two goose eggs will soon be no more.
The biggest threats on the Freedom offense are running back Eddie Mateo, wide receiver Yusef Reddick, and quarterback Ryan Tress.
Mateo, a transfer from Bethlehem Catholic, ran for over 1,000 yards a season ago. He’s run for 17 touchdowns on the season. Reddick has caught five touchdown passes, and also scored touchdowns on a kickoff return, punt return, and a rushing touchdown. Tress, meanwhile, has thrown 11 touchdown passes and added three more scores on the ground.
The Freedom offense averages 301 yards per game, and has been a model of balance, running for 1,406 yards (156.2 yds./gm) and throwing for 1,302 yards (144.7 yds./gm).
The Patriots average 31.7 points per game while allowing 15.3.
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