TURNER — After making it to the Class C South semifinals thanks to an overtime win last week, Freeport was dealt a dose of reality against top-seeded Leavitt on Friday

The Hornets held the fifth-seeded Falcons to negative yardage until the final drive of the first half, all while scoring on each of their first four possessions in 48-12 victory at Libby Field.

“We talked a lot about just starting fast and being real physical,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “We knew they were going to come in pretty hyped up with their win last week and we wanted to kind of smother them out early.”

Leavitt (10-0) will host the winner of Saturday’s other semifinal, No. 3 Wells at No. 2 York, in the C South final next week.

Allen Peabody scored the Hornets’ first two touchdowns, running from 11 and 1 yards out to make it 16-0 less than eight minutes into the game.

“It felt good to come out, start fast and strong and put points on the board early,” Peabody said.

Deasean Calder and quarterback Wyatt Hathaway also scored rushing touchdowns in the first quarter to make it 32-0 after one.

“We just wanted to come out and get the run game going early. We felt like that was our advantage coming in,” Mike Hathaway said. “So that was kind of the game plan, was to spread the ball around, and we did a pretty good job there. The O-line blocked well.”

A fumble stopped the Hornets’ string of scoring drives, but the Leavitt defense forced one of its own three plays later. That set up a nine-play, 44-yard drive that ended in a Camden Jordan 1-yard touchdown run to make it 40-0.

Leavitt’s Dasean Calder runs with the ball while Damion Calder clears the way and Freeport’s Justin Cogswell tries to catch up during Friday night’s Class C South football semifinal in Turner. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Mark Herman provided the Hornets’ final points by intercepting an Anthony Panciocco pass and returning it 35 yards for a touchdown.

“It was a good read by Mark, he was sitting on it, he’s a smart football player and made a good football play,” Hathaway said.

That was just one of many standout plays by the defense, including a pair of sacks (Jacob Spugnardi and Cole Morin) and some key knockdowns of Panciocco passes.

“They’re very disciplined and strong across the board. There isn’t a single weak player on that defense,” Freeport (7-2) coach Paul St. Pierre said. “They do their jobs, they do it well, they play as a team, they’re fundamentally sound, and you have to play up to their level. You have to play very strong and almost perfect to play against them.”

Leavitt’s Mark Herman runs upfield during Friday night’s Class C South football semifinal in Turner. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The Falcons put together a promising-looking drive to end the first half, starting from their own 33-yard line and advancing as deep as

Leavitt’s 11, but a pair of incomplete passes led to a failed fourth-down run by Tony Casale.

The drive did give the Falcons positive yardage for the half, at 36 yards. Panciocco was 6 of 12 passing for 27 yards in the opening half, and his scrambling ability was the key to the final drive.

Leavitt ran for 239 yards on 23 carries in the first half before the second-string offense came in after halftime. Hathaway was rarely called upon to pass, and was 3 of 7 for 28 yards.

“I think we accomplished what we set out to do, make a statement, show we’re not going anywhere, we’re going to play,” Peabody said.

Freeport’s two touchdowns both came in the fourth quarter. Adam Ulrickson ran in from 27 yards out and John Suttle ran in untouched on the game’s final play, after the Hornets elected to do kneel-downs on their final drive in an attempt to run out the clock.

“Hopefully our team can kind of learn from this and grow,” St. Pierre said. “You know, we’re an up-and-coming program and we’re hoping to catch up to teams like Leavitt, and tonight was a good example of what the weight room and offseason training can really do for a program.”


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