The Freeland Falcons were looking for a bounce back game after a tough loss to Frankenmuth last week. They used some critical fourth down conversions to carry them past the Alma Panthers in a game that spanned two days thanks to Mother Nature.
Bryson Huckeby started things for the Falcons with a 56 yard pass to Alex Duley on their first play from scrimmage. This touchdown gave the Falcons a 7-0 edge just seconds into the game. They would push their lead to 14 when Huckeby found Trey Morgan on a 34 yard touchdown strike.
Freeland moved their lead to 20-0 when Aiden West capped off a 15 play, 62 yard drive with a one yard plunge into the end zone. Alma scored their first touchdown of the game when Paul Seelye tossed a 16 yard ball to Ryan Donley. This gave Freeland a 20-7 lead entering the locker room.
Alma moved within six points when Justin VanBlarcium burst through the line for a one yard touchdown run. Freeland stopped the run with a score of their own, when Huckeby ran it in from a yard out. VanBlarcium’s second touchdown of the quarter, this time from five yards out, brought the score to 26-21 Freeland as the third quarter concluded. At this point, Mother Nature postponed the game until Saturday.
In the fourth quarter, the two teams exchanged touchdowns. Aiden West had a one yard touchdown run, and the Falcons got a successful two-point run by West as well to move the lead to 13. Paul Seelye threw a 24 yard touchdown for the Panthers to make it a six point game. Alma got the football back and moved all the way down to the 24 yard line with 15 seconds to play. The Freeland defense stepped up to the challenge and forced a turnover on towns to seal the victory.
Fourth down conversions were key in this game, as the Falcons were able to score their final four touchdowns of the game on fourth down conversions. On the other hand, Alma’s fourth down attempt to tie or win the game at the end was unsuccessful.
Freeland moves to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the TVC-Central. Birch Run is up next for the Falcons in their pursuit of the postseason and league titles. Alma is now 1-4 on the year and 1-3 in league play. They will face Bridgeport next Friday night.