After a physical loss to the Blountstown Tigers this past Friday night, the Freeport Bulldogs are in for yet another intense contest on the gridiron this Friday when they take on the Walton County Braves. The game is 7 p.m. in Freeport.
“We’re the big time underdogs this week,” said Freeport Coach Jim Anderson.
“They’re big, they’re fast, they’re strong, many in number and well coached,” Anderson said of the 2-1 Walton Braves.
“There is nothing they don’t do well. They are aggressive on defense, they have a solid kicking game and they never give up,” he said.
The Braves showed what their defense could do this past Friday when free safety Rodney Shipman scooped up a fumble and returned it 91 yards in the final seconds for a 7-0 win over Bay High.
“We’re going to have our hands full,” Anderson said. “But we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
And challenge is what the Bulldogs had this past Friday when they took on the Blountstown Tigers.
After giving up 23 points in the first 22 minutes of play, the Bulldogs fought back but lost 37-22 to the visiting Tigers in a non-district contest.
“It was a typical physical game with Freeport,” said Blountstown Coach Greg Jordan. “We were able to score early … and throw it early.”
Blountstown quarterback Hunter Jordan completed 5 of 11 passes for 51 yards and a 20-yard strike to Josh Taylor for a touchdown. Jordan also carried the ball 15 times for 94 yards.
Despite the loss, Anderson spoke highly of his Bulldogs.
“Win or lose, I’ll take our 21 guys all day long,” Anderson said. “But we’ve got to start and finish strong.”
Blountstown got on the board first on a 31-yard field goal by Andrew Bennett. Freeport struggled to get anything going on offense and was forced to punt.
Blountstown took over on their own 20-yard line with Javakiel Brigham breaking away on the first play from scrimmage, zigzagging down the field for a 60-yard gain. On the next play, Jordan connected with Josh Taylor on the right side for a 20-yard score. Bennett missed on the extra point attempt for a 9-0 game.
Freeport picked up one first down on their next possession with Gabe Moore, who finished the night 13 of 25 for 190-yards, hit Morgan Hardee for a gain of 11. But four plays later, the Bulldogs were punting.
Brigham returned the punt for 44 yards giving the Tigers good field position. Two plays later, Jordan carried it in for a 29-yard touchdown for a 16-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Tigers went 58 yards in nine plays with Bobby Andrews diving over the middle for a 1-yard touchdown.
Freeport got the ball back with 1:58 to go in the half and put together a 12-play drive running a hurry-up offense. The Bulldogs capped off the 65-yard drive with a 9-yard strike from Moore to Hardee for the TD. Moore kicked in the point after for a 23-7 game at the half.
In the third quarter, Freeport had the ball two times before finally scoring on its third possession. Starting from their 30-yard line, the Bulldogs gained some yardage on the ground before Moore aired it out to Hardee for a 54-yard gain. Owen Cole scored on the next play on a 7-yard run. Moore went to Nick Russell for the 2-point conversion and a 23-15 tally.
Blountstown answered with Alex Mayorga scoring early in the fourth on a 24-yard run.
Freeport came right back on its next possession, putting together a 10-play drive capped off by a 20-yard strike from Moore to Hardee. Moore was good for the PAT and a 30-22 score.
Blountstown got the ball one last time with Mayorga, who finished with 119 yards in eight carries, scoring on a 4-yard run.
For the game, Freeport had 274 yards total offense with 190 coming through the air. Blountstown rolled up 327 total yards with 276 coming on the ground.