Last Second FG Lifts Freedom Over Beca 31-28
On a cool Friday night in Bethlehem, city rivals Freedom (7-1) and Beca (4-4) clashed in what turned out to be an epic battle. Freedom’s Taylor Gregory kicked the game winning 21-yard FG with 5-seconds left on the game clock to secure the win and inch 1 game closer to the coveted city championship. (They must beat Liberty in week 10). Freedom held two 14-point leads in which they let slip away making this a game for the ages.
Not only is this a huge rivalry game but Freedom’s star RB Eddie Mateo transferred over the summer from Beca where he led the LVC in rushing the previous year. On top of that Freedom head coach Jason Roeder is a former Beca standout who was part of Beca’s 1990 3A-state championship team.
Mateo did his part rushing 23/147 and 3 TD’s while showing his blazing speed and powerful running.
In fact, speed was all over the field with LVC leading rusher Darrius Webb and Tevrin Brandon of Beca making play after play while being countered by Mateo and Yusef Riddick of Freedom.
Freedom jumped out to a 14-0 lead on two Mateo TD runs of 3 and 16-yards.
Before the half Beca had its chance to get on the board. On 4th and goal from the 4-yard line Beca elected not to attempt the FG and go for it. The result was an INT in the endzone by Freedom’s Jermel Lee.
In the second half Beca came out revived. Beca’s Brian Morris pump faked to Zach Glagola while he was running and out and up thus connecting for the 17-yard TD. This drive was aided by a Mateo fumble that Beca’s Brandon Lally picked up and returned to Freedom’s 22-yard line.
After a Freedom punt and great return by Brandon, Webb capped off the drive with a 1-yard TD run tying the score at 14 a piece.
Continuing in the 3rd quarter Freedom took back the lead 21-14 on an amazing 11-yard end around TD run by Riddick.
Still in the 3rd, Morris’s shuffle pass was picked off by Freedom’s Tareeq Taylor who then returned it to the 10-yard line. Mateo capped off the drive with a 1-yard TD run to increase its lead back to 14-points.
Beca made it a game with a 4th and 1 TD run by Eric Fiore. On that drive Webb had a blazing 34-yard run.
After a freedom punt to the 10-yard line, Beca had to go 90-yards to tie the game up. Morris hit Glagola for 45-yards on a streak with Fiore finishing off the long drive with a 1-yard TD run. The score was now tied 28-28 with 2:25 left to play.
To the surprise of everyone, Beca went for the onside kick but a penalty wiped out the attempt which led them to kick it deep.
As Freedom was driving, Beca’s Gedeon Rene picked of Freedom’s Ryan Tress at mid field. Beca was unable to capitalize and was forced to punt the ball back to Freedom with about 50 seconds left.
After some good Mateo running, a late hit penalty, and a beautiful Mike Muzyka TE screen for 22-yards to the 6-yard line, Freedom was able to get the ball into FG range. With 5 ticks left on the clock Taylor kicked his team to a hard fought win 31-28.
Next week Freedom travels on Nazareth while Beca takes on Northampton.
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