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Freedom Patriots Stave Off Upset-Minded Bethlehem Catholic Golden Hawks. @FHSFBBGGC @Becahi_Hawks

Tagged under: District 11, Gameday Hub, News, pfn

| October 24, 2021


Bethlehem Freedom Keeps EPC South Title Hopes Alive With Win Over Christmas City Rival Bethlehem Catholic.

Bethlehem-Against the backdrop of an overcast Saturday afternoon at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium, the Freedom Patriots held off a feisty bunch of Golden Hawks of Bethlehem Catholic en route to a 24-21 win in their first of back-to-back games with a city rival.

Freedom(7-2) keeps pace in the race for an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference South title. With Emmaus(7-2) losing to Easton Friday night 17-14 and a game looming with one loss Parkland(7-1) Friday and Freedom facing cross-town rival Liberty(1-8) on Saturday, three teams could end up with two losses.

After forcing a Golden Hawk punt on their opening drive, Freedom went on a 72 yard drive capped by a 36 yard pass from quarterback Brian Taylor to Owen Johnson, who tight-roped down the sidelines for the initial score of the game a missed PAT left the score 6-0 three minutes into the contest.

Bethlehem Catholic’s Troy Miller picked off a Taylor pass at the Golden Hawks 26 yard line, which led to a two yard score for Maximus Johnson with 4:31 left in the second quarter and with the extra-point giving the Hawks a 7-6 lead.

On Bethlehem Catholic’s next possession quarterback Jared Richardson connected with Tyriek Rivera for a 30 yard score to extend the lead to 14-6 with under 2 minutes left in the quarter. However on the last play of the half Taylor, who completed 14 of 24 passes for 242 and 3 touchdowns, lobbed a 25 yard pass to the back pylon of the end zone where Owen Johnson out jumped the defenders for his second score, but the two-point conversion failed leaving the Hawks up 14-12 at intermission.

The Patriots received the ball to start the second half and returned it to the 45, from their running back Deante Crawford scored from 14 yards out making the score 18-14 as again the conversion failed with 8:34 left in the third quarter

Becahi was forced to punt the ball where Freedom was forced to fair catch the ball at their 34 yard line. On the ensuing drive Taylor hit a streaking Ethan Neidig for a 40 yard score and a 24-14 lead with 4:59 left in the third quarter.

The score stayed that way until with two minutes left in the game, Richardson rolled to his right and found David Awuah, who made a sliding catch in the end zone for a fourteen yard score on a drive that covered 65 yards with the PAT made the score 24-21. The ensuing onside kick was recovered by Freedom and they ran out the clock to get the win 24-21.

Freedom left some points on the field in the first half as in the opening quarter and the ball at the Hawk’s two yard line, Taylor came up to the line in order to take a quick snap to catch the defense off-guard but a had snap resulted in a fumble recovered by Becahi. Then in the second quarter, with the ball on the eight a 25 yard field goal attempt was blocked thwarting another drive.

After the game, Freedom coach Jason Roeder, talked about his team’s win and looking forward to next weeks’ city-league championship game with Liberty(1-8) Saturday 1:00pm coming off a 22-10 loss to Parkland. 2-6 Bethlehem Catholic will be at J. Birney Crum to face Allentown Central Catholic(6-3) Saturday night in the “Holy War” contest. The Vikings shutout Pocono Mountain East 49-0 Friday night.

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