Coming off a 35-7 loss to Deer Valley last week, Freedoms football team wanted to prove it was still a contender for the league title in its matchup with Heritage last Friday.
The Falcons message was sent in a 28-21 victory over the Patriots (0-7, 0-2 in the Bay Valley Athletic League), but it didnt come without a fight.
Freedom senior Joe Mixon scored the game-winning touchdown with 28 seconds left to win the game for the Falcons (3-4, 1-1) and thwart a ferocious comeback attempt by Heritage, which overcame a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
I think Heritage is the best 0-7 team weve ever played, said Freedom head coach Kevin Hartwig. If we got a break here or there, we would be fine, but we sucked it up, challenged them at the end and did what we needed to do.
Down 21-7 early in the fourth quarter, Heritage stormed back to tie the game with 5:09 left after scoring back-to-back touchdowns.
Freedom counted with a four minute, 14-play drive to pull ahead with 28 seconds left. Heritage managed to reach the Falcons 16-yard line on the ensuing possession, but Heritage senior Nate Rollins was sacked by senior defensive end Patrick Choudja as time expired.
My team came out to battle, Mixon said. It was a dogfight.
Behind Mixon, who finished with 143 yards rushing and three touchdowns and senior Nick Garcias 141 yards receiving, Freedom jumped out to a 21-7 lead with 7:36 left in the game. Aside from the game-winner, Mixon scored on a 22-yard pass on the games opening drive and again on a 5-yard run midway through the second quarter to put the Falcons up 14-7.
Freedom extended its lead to 21-7 on an 8-yard catch by senior Kristian Simmons with 11:53 left in the game.
Just when it looked like Freedom was ready to run away with the victory, the Patriots broke through. Rollins found senior Nate McCallion for a 12-yard touchdown to cut the Falcons lead to 21-14 with 7:36 left. Two minutes later, Rollins connected with Sam Hinn on a 28-yard pass to knot the game at 21. Rollins was stellar in the contest, connecting on 18 of 19 passes for 196 yards, but was helpless to watch on Freedoms final possession as the Falcons became the second league team to close out Heritage in the waning moments of a game. Heritage lost its opening league game to Pittsburg on a last-second field goal.
See the article here:
Freedom rallies to defeat Heritatge