Upstart Freedom Patriots Upend Whitehall in OT 29-28
Anyone who doubted just how good this Freedom Patriot’s football team was, should be believers now. Freedom entered their game with Whitehall with a 7-0 record against teams with a combined 10-26 record, stunned the Zephyrs in front of a shocked homecoming night crowd at Zephyr Stadium 29-28 in thrilling fashion in overtime.
Patriot running back Joseph Santos scored on a two-point conversion run from a yard and a half out to secure the victory for his team. “We were hurting tonight, so I thought if we had the chance for the win we were going for it,” an elated coach Jason Roeder stated afterwards. Santos scored after a previous attempt at the conversion failed, but a pass interference call against Whitehall gave Freedom a second chance for the win. Freedom quarterback Joe Young scored on a six-yard run to get his team within a point of either tying the game or going for the win.
“We only had 42 guys dressed for this game. Our quarterback was banged up, we are on the road, we just had to go for it, win or lose.” Roeder added.
Whitehall’s running back Saquon Barkley got his team in the lead with a three-yard run on the Zephyrs possession in extra time, but that lead did not hold up when the Patriots got their chance. Barkley finished with 168 yards and four tallies in the contest. But a crucial fumble by Barkley as he made a valiant effort inside the Freedom 10 yard line, seemed to change momentum of the game.
Freedom had drives of 93, 95 and 90 yards in the second half to match each score made by the Zephyrs. “We were wanting to make this a four quarter game,” Roeder mentioned. “This is what it’s all about playing in the Lehigh Valley,” he concluded.
The Freedom student section stormed the field after the game to join the celebration of a team that was just 2-8 last season. “This has to rank right up there with some of the great wins in his program’s history,” added Roeder.
“We let this one slip away from us,” saidWhitehall coach Brian Gilbert. Whitehall drops it’s second game in a row after starting 5-0.
Freedom now takes their perfect record up against Parkland (5-2), who lost to Easton 28-21 Friday night. Whitehall tries to get back on track as they travel to Nazareth next week.
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