There was a storyline throughout the week about the battle on the sidelines in the Division 4 Regional Finals pitting Freeland and Croswell-Lexington against one another. Freeland coach Kevin Townsend coached Croswell-Lexington coach Mike LeGrow at Freeland. LeGrow was also on staff under Townsend earlier in his career. In the classic teacher-student showdown, the teacher won this chapter. Coach Townsend’s Freeland Falcons are back in the Semifinals for the second straight year, capturing a 42-22 win on Friday night.
Croswell-Lexington struck first, as Gabriel Groppi capped off an 11-play, 80-yard march with a 5-yard touchdown run. A failed conversion left the Pioneers ahead by six. Freeland responded with their own length drive, finished off with an 8-yard carry on the legs of Garrett Pistro. This gave the Falcons a 7-6 advantage.
Freeland extended their lead immensely in the second quarter, with 20 unanswered points. First, Bryson Huckeby found Alex Duley on a 5-yard touchdown toss. Garrett Pistro used his legs to score twice more, on runs of 1 and 5 yards. This gave the Falcons a far-more comfortable 27-6 edge as they headed into halftime.
In the third quarter, Pistro’s fourth touchdown run gave the Falcons a 29-point lead. Croswell-Lexington finally responded on a 21-yard toss from Jake Townsend to Saige Slanec. Freeland answered with a quick burst on an 83-yard sprint to the end zone by Pistro.
Garrett Pistro led the way with 185 yards and five touchdowns. The Falcons blocked a first quarter punt, recovered a muffed kick, and halted an onside kick attempt, thriving in all facets of the special teams game.
As a result of the victory, Freeland is in the semifinals once again. This time, they will face the Chelsea Bulldogs. Chelsea is undefeated on the year, but they needed some late game heroics this week to top Country Day. DCD was lining up for the game-winning field goal, and the kick was blocked and returned by Chelsea for the victory.