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Freedom pulls it off in close win against Burgettstown, 7-6

Written by: on Saturday, November 10th, 2018

 

Senior Noah Yeck celebrates the win with assistant coach Craig Vukich. The Bulldogs will go on to face Steel Valley on Nov. 16 in the semi-finals.


Coming off of a close win last week against Avonworth, the Bulldogs pulled off another tight victory against Burgettstown, winning by only one point.

The only scoring play for Freedom was made by senior Cody Ross in the first quarter. Ross had a 1-yard rush to the end zone with a good extra point kick from senior Nick DiNardo, putting up seven points for the Bulldogs.

“It put my team to the top and held on for the rest of the game,” Ross said. “We played great defense. Defense got together and I couldn’t ask for a better game.”

Senior Cody Ross (43) looks for an open through the middle as his fellow Bulldogs seniors Tanner Boyer (50) and Jake Pail (21) block Burgettstown’s defense. Ross was the only Freedom player to put points on the board for the night, with a touchdown in the first quarter.

Burgettstown kept getting stuck on fourth downs, resorting to field goals in the first and second quarter. In the first quarter, junior Seth Phillis had a successful 20-yard field goal for the Blue devils. Phillis went again in the second quarter for a 36-yard field goal, gaining the only points for Burgettstown for the game.

The atmosphere of the Warriors’ Stadium was tense as the second half of the game had no scoring plays by either team. With back-to-back interceptions from Freedom’s own Zach Rosa and junior quarterback Jake Lounder, the stands were rowdy.

The Bulldog defense remained strong, though, according to interim head coach John Rosa.

“Our defense is strong and these kids are resilient; nothing phases them… They’re playing well and they believe in each other and they believe in what we’re trying to sell to them,” John Rosa said.

Freedom’s win against Avonworth was a close one, where the Bulldogs won by a mere three points.

In terms of statistics, both teams were almost equally matched. Freedom had 48 rushes for a total of 175 yards, and the Blue Devils trailed slightly behind with 31 rushes for 134 total yards. Passing was similar as well between the two teams. Both only had three completed passes and one interception, but Burgettstown led with 87 yards over Freedom’s 48.

Senior Jake Pail led the Bulldog offense again with the most rushing yards. Pail had 22 carries for a total of 126 yards.

Senior Jake Pail (21) sneaks through a gap opened by senior Cody Ross (43). Pail led the team in rushing yards with 22 carries for a total of 126 yards.

“Just move the ball. I knew we had to move the ball in that kind of game [with the] top two defenses in AA, so just got to move the ball,” Pail said.

 

Admittedly, since the game was close, there were moments of doubt, but trust was placed in Freedom’s defense.

“I always have faith in my guys,” Ross said. “We rally, we pull through. We bend, but we don’t break.”

Next week, the Bulldogs take on Steel Valley. The location has not yet been disclosed.

 

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