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Patriots knock off Central

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by james bunting Special to the Press in Sports

It may have been the first game of the season, but the Freedom defense looks like it’s in midseason form.

The Patriots (1-0)forced three turnovers and held Central Catholic (0-1) to seven three-and-out possessions in Saturday night’s 27-3 victory at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown.

Freedom entered halftime with a 7-3 lead and Central Catholic was never able to make up ground in the second half — literally. The Vikings produced negative net yardage for the first 19 minutes of the second half until generating some first downs in the game’s last possession.

Central Catholic lost senior starting quarterback Conner Nejad to injury in the first quarter. Following a 30-yard field goal for the game’s first points, the Vikings only produced one first down the rest of the first half.

After throwing an interception on Freedom’s first possession, sophomore quarterback Jared Jenkins rebounded nicely to throw three touchdown passes.

Jenkins connected with senior Kyree Marshburn on a wide receiver screen for a 20-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Jenkins would find senior Alec Huertas and junior Joseph Stofanak for two touchdown passes in the second half. Huertas finished with seven receptions for 101 yards.

The running back combination of Abdul Beasley and Sebastian Gibbs wore down the Central Catholic defense. Gibbs, a junior, opened the game with a number of effective runs in Freedom’s opening possessions. The senior, Beasley, put the final stamp on the contest with a 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Junior John Denith recovered a Vikings fumble in the second quarter and junior Darryl Shands recorded a fourth quarter interception to set up Stofanak’s touchdown.

Freedom hosts Allen (0-1) on Friday, Sept. 1 at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium. The Canaries were beaten 49-0 by Parkland in their opener.