**ARTICLE BY JOSH LONGSTRETH**
The Freeland Falcons and Clare Pioneers are known for their culture. Year in, year out, you typically know what you’ll get from these two programs. Heading into this year, however, there would be a lot of change for both sides. The Falcons replacing a lot offensively. The Pioneers replacing dynamic play makers, and a new head man at the helm.
This one would start that change for the Falcons a little easier. Freeland would gain the momentum early on after a Clare fumble. The Falcons would set up shop at the Pioneer 39 yard line. Nick Harrington would then punch it in to give the Falcons an early 7-0 advantage.
Clare would sustain their next drive and get themselves on the board with a 33-yard field goal from Camden Babcock. The score was 7-3 Falcons after one.
The Falcons would set their offense up in great field possession again after a 55-yard kick off return by Ty Fournier. Shortly after that Harrington would take another in, this one from 4-yards out to take a 14-3 lead.
Freeland would set themselves up again at the Clare 40 after a turnover. This time sophomore Brayden Petre would get in on the action with a 9 yard touchdown of his own. This put the Falcons up 22-3, but they weren’t done yet in the first half. Next, they would start from their own 46 yard line before a Sam Talaga 1-yard run. Freeland would go into the half with all of the momentum, ahead 28-3.
The Falcons would use a change of pace in the third quarter. Instead of pounding it down the field, Fournier decided to take one to the house on a 65-yard run of his own. In front 35-3, it was all Falcons heading into the 4th.
Clare couldn’t seem to get much established offensively as the Falcons dominated the line of scrimmage on the defensive side. Freeland would then tack on one final score, a 29-yard touchdown pass from Talaga to David Duley that put the finishing touches on a 42-3 victory Thursday night.
The Falcons seemed to control both lines of scrimmage in this one. They’ll look to do the same next week as they take on the Alma Panthers at home to start Tri Valley Conference play. The Pioneers look to rebound as they take on a Pinconning Spartans team to open Jack Pine Conference play.