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FANTASTIC FINISH FUELS FREEDOM PAST EMMAUS. @scotty1021 @fhssportsBASD

EMMAUS- The Bethlehem Freedom football team has not always had the success as their cross town rivals: Liberty and Bethlehem Catholic, both of who have raised the PIAA State Championship Trophy.

Friday night before a Standing-Room-Only crowd at EPSD Stadium, the Patriots took a giant-leap out of the shadows and solidified thier standing at the top of the EPC South with an 8-0 record by knocking off previously unbeaten Emmaus Green Hornets 32-31 in overtime, before a stunned homecoming night crowd.

Trailing 24-9 with three and a half minutes left in the contest, the Patiots scored two touchdowns in 45 seconds to propel the rally. QB Jared Jenkins connected with Gabe Caton on a 13 yard score with 1:10 to play to make the score 24-16 after the PAT. Emmaus recovered the onside kick, but could not muster a drive to close out the game as Freedom had all thier timeouts left and penalty pushed Emmaus back to setup a fourth down punt with under a minute to play. A bad snap sailed over Ethan Parvel’s head and Freedom took possession at the Green Hornets 16 yard line. Two plays later Jenkins placed a perfectly thrown ball to Vince Reph in back of the end zone with just 27 ticks left on the clock and trailing 24-22. Matt Russin hauled in the conversion pass from Jenkins in the right corner to tie the game.

 

Emmaus did have chance after receiving the ensuing kickoff to end the game in regulation, but Ethan Parvel was sacked for a loss and the Green Hornets would take their chances into the overtime session.

The Patriots won the toss and elected to play defense. Emmaus starting at the ten yard line, drove to the one, bringing up a 4th down decision. Parvel called his own number and was able to scramble in for the go-ahead score, with the PAT making it 31-24.

Freedom then had thier chance at matching the Hornets score. Jalen Stewart carried the ball twice, going for 8 on the first tally to the two. On his second carry, he muscled his way over the goal line making the score 31-30. There was no hesitation as Freedom decided to go for the win on the road then and there. On the conversion TE Jack Gawlick snuck out in the flat to the end zone, Stewart hit him right on the numbers and Gawlick had himself the game winner.

 

“Our kids kept battling. No matter what happened they just kept it together.” Patriots coach Jason Roeder stated. “We fought to the end, it’s always about the next play and what we can control. I am so proud of these guys right now, they just never stop believing in themselves.” He concluded.

Emmaus got the scoring started on the night on the opening possesion going 68 yards concluded with a Parvel 28 yard completion to a wide open Deonte Castro at the Freedom 12, who took it to the house with just 1:39 seconds gone off the clock. The PAT left the score 7-0.

Stewart would score on the Patriots opening drive, going in from 3 yards out at the 5:41 mark, but the PAT was missed making it 7-6.

RB Lubens Myers would extend the Hornets lead to 14-6 with a 10 yard dash midway through the second period. Myers ended the night with 150 yards rushing on 12 carries and 2 scores.

The teams would then trade field goals, a 27 yarder by Freedom’s Nicholas Stannard in the third quarter, followed by a 22 yard kick by Emmaus’ Alex Orlando with 10:10 left in the game.

Myers got his second touchdown from 4 yards out with 3:39 left setting up the dramatic finish.

Emmaus hurt themselves with penalties as they had 18 calls against them for 162 yards. While Emmaus did manage to gain over 500 yards in total offense. Parvel completed 14 of 22 passes for 269 yards and a score. The costly penalties at crucial times took it’s toll.

“We just couldn’t close them out. We made too many costly errors as far as penalties go. It drives me insane. We talked about it all week a big game like this comes down to the turnovers and penalties. We just didn’t get it done.” A dejected Emmaus coach Harold Fairclough said.

Emmaus will need to correct those things as they have two more contests left, next Saturday night against a 6-2 Bethlehem Catholic at BASD Stadium, then the Battle of Cedar Crest Blvd with Parkland at EPSD Stadium on October 26th. Freedom now 8-0 will be at home next Friday with Allentown Central Catholic.

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