The Freedom football team needed a clock-eating drive late in the game to potentially stave off a late-charging Parkland team that was beginning to get its legs.
A powerful offensive line and skillful backfield took the stage and came through when they needed to most and killed off the final 6:38 off the clock to hang on for a 21-18 win last Friday night at Parkland School District Stadium in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference action.
Joe Henrich said that high school football can be a crazy game. If you saw last week’s Bethlehem Catholic-Liberty affair, that sentiment would be justified.
The Golden Hawks escaped with a 27-22 win at BASD Stadium, thanks to Matt Stianche’s 30-yard TD grab in the final minute of the fourth quarter to catapult Becahi (2-1) to the win and rip the hearts out of their city rival Hurricanes (2-1).
The offensive disparity in the less than 24-hour period between games was evident for the Freedom field hockey team. After opening the 2019 season with a 5-0 victory at East Stroudsburg North in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference action, the Patriots struggled to find the back of the cage the next day, falling 2-1 in a nonconference game to Salisbury Saturday morning at Freedom High School.
Freedom (1-1 overall, 1-0 EPC) fell behind 2-0 after the opening half, and then cut its deficit in half, but was unable to get all the way back and find the tying goal.
After two weeks of the regular season, we have an idea of where teams stand in the Lehigh Valley football landscape. Freedom narrowly escaped last week, but Bethlehem Catholic proved they are right up there with anyone, as long as Tavion Banks is running the ball.
The Pates follow up their city rivalry last week with a trip to Parkland, while the Hawks are back at BASD to tangle with the Hurricanes.
Easton is proving its hype train is overblown, while Central Catholic has become a team nobody wants to play.
Liberty’s boys’ soccer team hosted Bethlehem Catholic this past Saturday and won its season opener, 5-1.
“I think our team movement going forward was quite decent. I think we were able to string a lot of healthy combinations together,” said Liberty coach Ian Larimer. “Execution was lacking today but it was good to see a lot of ideas we have rehearsed come to life on the field.”
Liberty’s Chris Schray was finally able to break through Becahi’s intensity and score the first goal for the Hurricanes in the 10th minute.
Unlike some other seasons, Bethlehem Catholic’s Tim McGorry is having fun.
The veteran golf coach is in the midst of a season in which expectations aren’t too high with only eight players on his roster.
Entering this week, his young squad was battling through a 1-4 season, but McGorry has been seeing the big picture.
“We have a lot of guys who are out there on a team for the first time, and they are keeping with it.
Liberty’s girls’ tennis team won its fourth 4-3 match last Thursday when the Hurricanes defeated Emmaus, bringing their record to 5-1 after also defeating East Stroudsburg North on Friday, 6-1.
Shivani Patel and Gabby Palermo won the deciding match against Emmaus when they defeated Ivory Gao and Payton McGlory, 6-4, 6-3, at three doubles.
As with any encounter on the gridiron between Freedom and Bethlehem Catholic, fireworks are always on the agenda and last week’s city rivalry contest between both schools showcased that maybe the two best teams in the area reside in Bethlehem.
Jalen Stewart’s one-yard touchdown with seven seconds left in the fourth quarter gave Freedom a 24-21 lead for the comeback victory.
The Patriots stopped Becahi (1-1) on a 4th and 5 at the Freedom 17-yard line midway through the fourth quarter and then chewed up the rest of the quarter, driving 83-yards in 4:59 to steal the victory.
Steel post victory
One goal in the first half from Michee Ngalina and another from Zach Zandi in the second half helped push 10-man Bethlehem Steel FC to a 2-0 victory. Philadelphia Union Academy forward Patrick Bohui made Steel FC history, becoming the youngest player to start a match and goalkeeper Todd Morton made six saves to ensure the Steel kept their fifth clean sheet of the season.
Bethlehem Steel FC will travel to Cary, North Carolina to take on North Carolina FC in their next matchup on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. ET.
Liberty has posted shutouts in its first two games of the season, but head coach John Truby still isn’t sure what type of team he has after a 2-0 start.
The Hurricanes knocked off Pocono Mountain East 20-0 last week, but it wasn’t the prettiest or easiest affair following a two-hour bus trip to Swiftwater.
Things won’t get any easier this week when Liberty and Bethlehem Catholic are set to square off Friday night at 7 p.m. at BASD Stadium.