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Through every setback in season, Bulldogs come out victorious as co-section champs in win against Western Beaver

Written by: on Saturday, October 27th, 2018

 

On Oct. 26, the Freedom Bulldogs clinched the title of co-section champions in their victory against Western Beaver, 33-0. Their title is shared with the Mohawk Warriors who also finished their season with a 9-1 conference record. This is the first time since 1977 that the Bulldogs have earned the section title.

From the death of Freedom 2018 alumnus, Seth Weismantle to the recent arrest of former head coach, Russ Barley, the Bulldogs managed to remain strong throughout the season, finishing with a 9-1 record.

Since Mohawk was also tied in the conference with a 9-1 record, both the Bulldogs and the Warriors claim the title of co-section champions.

The victory that solidified the early-season predictions for Freedom was against Western Beaver where the Bulldogs won 33-0. This is the first time since 1977 that the Bulldogs have taken the section.

Senior Cody Ross started the game off for Freedom in the first quarter with 9:02 left on the clock.

Afterwards, the momentum died down until the remaining minutes of the second quarter when senior Nick DiNardo kicked a successful 36-yard field goal, putting up an additional three points for the Bulldogs.

With 2.3 seconds left in the first half, senior Zach Rosa threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to senior Noah Yeck. The pair closed out the half, marking the score as 17-0, Freedom.

Zach Rosa currently holds the record for most completed touchdown passes in his career and thus far in the season. He broke both records that were previously held by 2002 alumnus, Matt Brown.

Ross continued his play into the third quarter where he reached the end zone again with a 7-yard run. Ross led the game in rushing yards with 19 carries for a total of 152 yards.

Senior Nick DiNardo winds up for a punt against the Golden Beavers on Oct. 26. DiNardo broke the school record for longest field goal with a 44-yard field goal, aiding the Bulldogs in their victory.

DiNardo came in again for a 44-yard field goal in the third quarter, breaking the previous longest field goal record.

“It was good, it was a team thing. My job is pretty simple, I just go out and kick the ball hard and the guys put me in the right spot to do it and it’s a good thing, it’s fun to do,” DiNardo said.

The fourth quarter was off to a quick start; within the first seven seconds that were winding down on the clock, senior Jake Pail had a 6-yard run, constituting another touchdown for Freedom.

This ended the scoring runs for the Bulldogs for the evening, as they fought defensively to shutout the Golden Beavers.Their defense was successful in doing just that, for the final score of the game was 33-0, Bulldogs coming out on top.

As truly the “top dog,” Freedom’s win against Western Beaver solidified their title as co-section champs shared with Mohawk.

“It was just a lot of confidence; the team grew confidence in me, I grew confidence in myself and we just took that next step. Everyone just took a leadership role this year whether they’re on the line or in the back field, so everyone did a good job,” Zach Rosa said. “It [winning] feels awesome. It’s surreal, I can’t even explain it right now.”

This week, Freedom will prepare for their first home playoff game in history. Their opponent is unknown until this coming Monday, Oct. 29.

Senior Jake Pail makes it to the end zone for Freedom. Pail was the second rushing leader of the game with 16 carries for a total of 58 yards.

According to Freedom Athletic Director/interim coach, John Rosa, actually winning the section is something the team could have “only dreamed about in the beginning of the season.”

“I think these kids just wanted to go out and try to have a winning season and it’s special that they just all worked together and got it done,” John Rosa said.

In terms of the recent events, John Rosa says that the instance hasn’t effected the team “from a playing standpoint.”

He continued to remark that the team needs to “work on some things as a coaching staff, but our players played great tonight.”

Now, the next step for the Bulldogs is preparing for playoffs, and according to Zach Rosa and many others, the WPIAL Championship is the next goal in mind, but the team needs to take it “one step at a time.”

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