The Freeland Falcons opened their 2019 campaign with a home game against Marshall. Last year, these two teams opened their season against each other and they treated the fans to a thrilling overtime affair. This year, mother nature decided to take this game to a whole new level. A game that needed two overtimes to decide, and took five and a half hours to play, concluded with the Freeland Falcons winning 27-26.
After the first quarter of play was scoreless, mother nature’s delay really slowed the game down. The delay was over two hours long, with many other games in the area deciding to postpone to another day. Patience exerted by the players and the fans led to this game resuming after 10:00 PM. Again, the offense was non-existent in the second quarter, leading to a scoreless game heading into the locker room. The two teams combined for 160 yards of offense on 59 plays in the first half, a rather quiet one.
In the third quarter, Marshall’s Codey Shellenberger connected with Donovan Woodson for a 50-yard touchdown. This put the Redhawks ahead by seven. Late in the quarter, it was the Freeland defense who stepped up and put the Falcons on the scoreboard. Trey Morgan stepped in front of Shellenberger’s pass and returned it 44 yards to the end zone for the score. The two-point try was unsuccessful however, leaving Marshall ahead 7-6 entering the final quarter.
Freeland started the scoring in the fourth quarter, as their offense finally broke the plane of the end zone. Jack Dreyer scored the 17 yard touchdown on the ground, and then he also added a two-point conversion to put the Falcons ahead 14-7. Marshall tied the game on Shellenberger’s second touchdown pass of the night. He connected with Ian Barbour from six yards out, and the extra point evened the score at 14. This would hold until the game went to overtime.
On the first possession of overtime, Marshall started with the ball. Again, it was Shellenberger, who scored his third touchdown of the night when he tossed it up to Donovan Woodson from eight yards out. The extra point was blocked by the Falcons defense, which left the door open for a victory in the first overtime.
Aiden West found the end zone for Freeland from six yards out, evening the score at 20. The extra point would win it for the Falcons, but they were unable to convert as the hold was fumbled. This meant that in the wee hours of Friday morning (yes this game spanned two different days), we would have a second overtime.
Freeland started play in the second frame and wasted no time at all. On their first play, Trey Morgan scored his first offensive touchdown of the night with a ten-yard run. Jack Dreyer’s extra point was good, giving Freeland a 27-20 lead. Marshall responded quickly, as Codey Shellenberger tossed his fourth touchdown of the night. This one was from seven yards out, as he connected with Trenton Fuller for the score. The extra point attempt by Marshall was blocked once more by the Freeland defense, and this would seal the deal.
A 27-26 victory moves Freeland to 1-0 for the eighth straight season. They will look to move to 2-0 when they visit Essexville Garber next week in the first game of TVC-Central play. Captain Lou will be LIVE on the call once more exclusively on Michigan Sports Radio.