Zephyr Train Rolls Freedom 42-3
Written by: Brian Ptashinski on Saturday, September 14th, 2013.
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They say turnovers kill. No more so was that evident Friday night as Bethlehem Freedom commited four turnovers via interceptions by end of the third quarter, that led to four Whitehall touchdowns to lead the Zephyrs to a 42-3 drubbing of the Patriots at Frank Banko Field.
“Our defensive stepped up tonight, they played great.” Whitehall coach Brian Gilbert stated. “They(Freedom) could not get that run game started, which allowed our guys to make plays in the secondary and conversely set up the offense to capitalize on the turnovers.” Gilbert added.
Whitehall’s Saquan Barkley got the turnovers started by picking off a pass on Freedom’s opening drive to setup the offense on the Patriots 27. Two plays later QB Jeff Charles took the ball around the left edge and scored with Connor Ilgenfritz converting the PAT giving the Zephs a 7-0 lead.
“We told our kids this Freedom’s line is bigger than us, Gilbert said. “That motivated our guys all week.”
Freedom(1-2, 1-1) got on the board with a 27yd field goal by Jacob Banas after a Whitehall turnover gave the Patriots the ball on Zephyrs 44. A roughing the passser call aided in the drive for Freedom, which stalled on the 10 yard line leading to their only score of the night.
Whitehall proceeded on a 35-0 run the rest of the way. First RB Ryan Bonshak scored on a 1 yard run on a fourth and goal after a 13 play 78 yard drive to go up 14-3.
Then some fortune and trickery came into play in waning minutes of the opening half. The Zephyrs had a 4th and 7 from Freedom 32. Charles was being tackled by Freedom’s Brad Romig, creating a fumble an alert Jacob Buskirk scooped up the ball at the 31 and scored down the sideline with 1:43 left
Buskirk said, “I was blocking and next thing I see the ball bouncing around, I just picked it up and ran.”
Zephyrs’ defensive back Tyler Williams got on the turnover train by intercepting a Jonah Gundrum pass. On the first play, Charles completes a pass in the flat to Connor Sullivan, who lateraled the ball to Barkley. Barkley flashed down the sideline to paydirt and 28-3 halftime lead after Ilgenfritz made the point after.
The third quarter started better for Freedom when Bonshak fumbled a punt that Joe Santos recovered in Zephyr territory. However Bonshak would get his revenge by intercepting Gundrum near the goal line and returning back to the Patriots’ 28 yard line. On 3rd down Charles connected with Bonshak over the middle for a 32 yard score and increasing the lead to 35-3.
Tyler Cyriax for Whitehall(3-0, 2-0) got the last turnover of the night on a interception and setup the offense in great field position. Barkley capped off the scoring with a 4 yd dash to the end zone and invoking the mercy rule with three minutes left in the third quarter.
“It goes without saying, we did not play well tonight.” Freedom coach Jason Roeder stated. “Whitehall took it to us tonight, they deserve all the credit.”
The gauntlet continues next week for Whitehall as they will be at home against Nazareth. While Freedom tries to recover at Emmaus.
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