Freeport’s Tre Morris turns the quarter during a run in the first half of Friday’s 41-6 victory over Poland at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field on Friday. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

FREEPORT — The Freeport football team earned revenge over Poland with a 41-6 victory at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field on Friday night.

Tre Morris returned the opening kickoff 70 yards for a score and running back Adam Ulrickson found the end zone five times as the Falcons avenged a 43-12 loss to the Knights in 2018.

“We wanted this game tonight, we hadn’t forgotten about last year’s game,” Ulrickson said.

Ulrickson rushed for 226 of Freeport’s 383 yards on the ground.

“The lineman have been phenomenal this year, firing off the blocks,” the senior said. “I’ve always had good lineman, but these guys take it serious.”

Freeport improves to 5-1, while the Knights fall to 1-6.

“We’re a building program, we had had 25 kids in pads tonight,” Poland coach Spencer Emerson said. “It’s all about competing, and the score will take care of itself. We had some mental mistakes tonight, but Freeport is a good team.”

After losing to Cape Elizabeth 21-20 on Oct. 4, the Falcons had a week off due to Dirigo canceling its season. The extra week fueled Freeport even more.

“It sure got them fired up. We stepped it up a notch in practice and brought it back to almost summertime stuff,” Freeport coach Paul St. Pierre said. “We had to because after watching the Cape film, we saw we had some flaws we needed to correct.”

The one-point loss sat with the Falcons for two weeks.

“We took this time to evaluate ourselves and as a team. We had those two weeks to practice, and game time came, and we took care of it,” Morris said. “Technique through practice, everything pays off and we got the job done.”

Back together it was put, and right from the start. The Falcons received the opening kickoff and Morris energized the full capacity homecoming crowd with a touchdown run down the middle of the field.

“I came in this game with a job and I knew what I had to do,” Morris said. “I play hard for my team, they have my back, I have theirs. I saw the space and just shot it.”

After Freeport recovered a fumble on the Knights’ first play from scrimmage, the Falcons needed only three plays to score again, on an Ulrickson six-yard dive into the right corner of the end zone.

Freeport added two more touchdowns on its next two drives, both Ulrickson runs (34 and 5), and the Falcons held a commanding 27-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Freeport’s Adam Ulrickson (22) looks for a hole before scoring a 5-yard touchdown early in the second quarter against Poland. The Falcons downed the Knights 41-6 at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field on Friday. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

Meanwhile, the Freeport defense was keeping the Poland offense in check, stuffing the run and limiting Knights quarterback Brady Downing to short passes that often ended up in negative yardage. Led by Morris, Joe Coleman, Ulrickson, Treyvon Murhammer and Caden Benedict Freeport held Poland to negative rushing yards in the first half.

“Tre is phenomenal. When he is in control, he can do anything on both sides of the ball. He brought the intensity and the skill, he played well and we’re very proud of him,” St. Pierre said.

Freeport added to its lead in the third quarter with a 93-yard drive capped off by an Ulrickson 32-yard score, sending the game to a running clock with the lead at 41-0.

Starting from its own 38-yard line, Poland then put together its best drive of the game. After Downing (8-for-13, 44 yards) completed passes to Isaac Fifield and Levi Lawrence, the Knights nearly scored on a Joe Ringuette run but fell a yard short. Downing ran the ball in on a quarterback sneak on the next play for the score.

“Joe gave a good effort right there, he almost got in,” Downing said. “Putting that drive together, we knew we were going to work towards this right now. Think about nothing and play for the team. When we have that mindset, I think we are a lot better team and, on that drive, we had that mindset.”

Downing credits Emerson’s words at halftime for the Knights’ effort in the second half.

“At halftime, no one was taking much, thinking about what we needed to fix,” Downing said. “Coach came over and said, ‘Look, right now this isn’t about winning, this isn’t about losing. It isn’t about you, me, him, this is about us. Taking pride in your team and your teammates and the name on the front of your jersey.’”

Emerson was proud of how the Knights improved after the break.

“We are a building program, and if we can limit the mental errors and worry about repeating each rep, we’ll continue to grow,” Emerson said. “We came together in the second half and put a good drive together.

“Freeport is a good team, only two losses in two years. We were fortunate to get them last year and they played with vengeance tonight, they had this game circled on the schedule.”

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