Mistakes doom EHS in 24-17 loss to Freedom
Something had to give when the Emmaus offense and Freedom defense met up Friday night at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium.
The Hornets came into the game averaging 43.2 points per game. The Patriots’ defense had been allowing just over 10 points per game and was coming off a 24-17 loss to Parkland, the most points it had given up all season.
Freedom’s defense won the battle Friday night as it kept the Hornets out of the end zone until late in the third quarter en route to a 24-17 win.
“I feel good after this win,” said Patriot quarterback Jared Jenkins, who threw two touchdown passes in the game. “It’s a huge win, but we have a lot of room for improvement. I believe we’re the best team in the EPC so we just have to keep getting better.”
The Patriots (4-2) answered an early Emmaus field goal with three straight scores. They took the lead on a two-yard Tristan Wheeler run early in the second quarter and made it 14-3 when the Hornets blew a coverage and Alec Huertas (3 receptions, 68 yards) was wide open for a 33-yard touchdown pass from Jenkins (10-for-19 for 188 yards; nine carries for 98 yards).
A 22-yard Nicholas Stannard field goal in the third quarter gave Freedom a 17-3 lead with just over 14 minutes left in the game.
The Hornets (3-3), which committed 13 penalties for 97 yards and had several drives stall out due to those miscues, finally got in the end zone on a seven-yard Sone Ntoh run late in the third quarter.
“They’re drive killers,” Emmaus head coach Harold Fairclough said of the penalties. “We shot ourselves in the foot so many times and when you’re playing a good team it comes back to bite you. We left a bunch of points on the board.”
The Patriots’ Justus Grube (two catches, 83 yards) caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Jenkins to stretch the lead back to 24-10. The Hornets added a touchdown last in the fourth quarter.
“I’m proud of our guys playing hard and battling for four quarters,” said Freedom head coach Jason Roeder. “That was a classic EPC South slugfest and we’re excited to be able to come out on top of it.”
The Patriot defense allowed 436 total yards, but it only allowed Emmaus inside the Freedom 10-yard line once in the first half. That came on the Hornets’ first drive of the game when they had a first and goal from the 10-yard line and eventually settles for the field goal. Two other drives ended in missed field goal.
“Our defense came up with some stops and our offenses answered when it needed to and that’s huge,” said Roeder. “Anytime you can hold a team to a field goal it’s a good stop there.”
Abdul Beasley had 20 carries for 86 yards for Freedom, while Emmauys’ Ntoh had 22 totes for 160 yards. The Hornets saw the return of Ntoh’s backfield mate Lubens Myers, who missed three games with an ankle injury. Myers ran for 111 yards on 187 carries.
“He worked pretty hard to get back,” said Fairclough. “We missed him. Sone did a great job carrying the load now he gets a little bit of a break having Lubens back.”
Emmaus travels to Nazareth next Friday night.