Spruce Mountain’s Kayle Stewart (5) heads for open ground as teammate Cody York (62) watches as Freeport’s Hunter Demers (21) closes in during a football game at Freeport Pownal Road Field on Saturday. The Phoenix won, 28-21.

Spruce Mountain’s Kayle Stewart (5) heads for open ground as teammate Cody York (62) watches as Freeport’s Hunter Demers (21) closes in during a football game at Freeport Pownal Road Field on Saturday. The Phoenix won, 28-21.

Freeport’s Hunter Demers (21) jars the ball loose from Spruce Mountain’s Kayle Stewart (5) as Freeport’s Yannick Metzler (43) and Garrison Thompson (66) move in during a football game at Freeport Pownal Road Field on Saturday. The Phoenix won, 28-21.

Freeport’s Hunter Demers (21) jars the ball loose from Spruce Mountain’s Kayle Stewart (5) as Freeport’s Yannick Metzler (43) and Garrison Thompson (66) move in during a football game at Freeport Pownal Road Field on Saturday. The Phoenix won, 28-21.

FREEPORT — Freeport’s 14-point lead was like getting an ominous call in the middle of the night for the Spruce Mountain Phoenix.

The Falcons dominated the entire the first quarter with a textbook drive before the Phoenix (4-1) got their offense off the ground and into the air to slip away with a 28-21 victory over Freeport (1-4) in a football game at Freeport’s Pownal Road Field on a cloudy and chilly Saturday afternoon.

“It is just like you see when programs make strides like Freeport did,” Spruce Mountain coach David Frey said. “I knew coming down here they were going to give us a game, but the question is how were we going to be when we came out, especially a Saturday afternoon game?

“Like I said, their program is up and coming. They did a great job, great coach. I knew they were going to give us a game.”

As the minutes waned in the fourth quarter, the score stood 21-21, with subtle hints of going overtime to settle this battle.

The Phoenix broke the stalemate with excellent passing and perseverance when they got the ball back at the 40-yard line. But a 15-yard penalty was called on Spruce Mountain and the Falcons ended back at the about the 26.

Tate Walton bought the Phoenix some time when he rushed for nine yards to bring his team to the 35.

Zack Toothacker reeled off a 25-yard pass to junior running back Kayle Stewart to place the Phoenix at the Freeport 40.

They didn’t stay there long.

Spruce quarterback Brett Fray launched a 40-yard pass to Nick Lombardi in the end zone for the winning TD with 7:25 left in the game. Lombardi’s interception late in that quarter also put a stop Freeport’s drive and seal the win for the Phoenix.

But there is no question the Falcons owned the first quarter.

Freeport started a long drive from the 20 that lasted nearly 11 minutes before it finally reached the 1-yard line where senior quarterback Josh Burke bulldozed his way in the end zone. Jacob Tomm booted the kick and the Falcons had themselves a 7-0 lead.

“A drive like that puts a smile on a coach’s face,” Freeport coach Paul St. Pierre said.

A recovered Spruce fumble helped set up Freeport’s second touchdown that began from the Falcons’ 39.

After a 2-yard rush from a keeper, Burke stepped back in the pocket and connected with senior Mike Foss for 54-yard pass to bring the Falcons to the five. At the 4, Hunter Demers came across with a TD. Tomm split the uprights and Freeport was in control, 14-0.

“I saw when we first came out, we were flat,” Coach Frey said. “We were down 14-0. You could see some heads dropping. At halftime, I spoke to them, ‘You have to believe. We are still in this.’

“We were going to get the ball in the third quarter. We were going to go down and score. But we got a kick-off return (TD) that helped.

“It was a total team effort. We had some huge pass plays. Brett has been throwing the ball very well the last few weeks. Nick Lombardi was huge, especially on that interception at the end. Overall, I thought we played well.”

That rude wake-up call finally roused the Phoenix at the end of the second quarter.

Spruce started from its 30 and rushed the ball down the field, and with the help of a pass interference penalty, the Phoenix ended up at the Freeport 8. Stewart took it in from there and a Toothacker kick spoiled the Falcons’ lead and made it a 14-7 game going in the half.

The Phoenix tied the game with one felt swoop when Stewart ran the ball back 70 yards on the opening kick off to tie the game, with a little help from a Toothacker boot.

Spruce Mountain scored again in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter and took a 21-14 lead.

This time the Falcons went to the air from after they drove to the 27. Frey sent over a 27-yard pass to his brother Brandon Frey for the TD that put Spruce out in front.

“We fought really hard,” St. Pierre said. “We had a great week of practice. We built off that momentum from the win last week — and for the most part we executed.

“But unfortunately, we need to be perfect to beat that team, and we are close. We need to clean up a little bit more, but there is a lot of hope, a lot faith going forward and the teams we have to face, they better watch out because we are coming for them.”

But the Falcons weren’t ready to call it quits. They scored on first play of their next drive from the 50. Tomm bolted all the way up the field from there to tie the game at 21 and then the winded kicker booted the extra point.

“Come down to it, we played a very good team. They have nothing to be ashamed of,” Coach Frey said.

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