**ARTICLE BY JOSH LONGSTRETH**
It wouldn’t take long for Freeland to get off to a quick start in their week one win over the Clare Pioneers last week. But they found themselves in a dog fight the rest of the way before picking up a gutsy win in Pioneer country by coming up big late.
This week they would take on a Swan Valley Vikings team that is known for putting together successful seasons themselves. That would get off to a slow start for them in week one by falling to Cros-Lex, 37-7. This one would be interesting early as both teams were looking to gain some footing early on.
The Vikings would be the ones to strike first as Colton Klein went up top to find a receiver from 33-yards out that would put the Vikings up 6-0. Freeland would bounce back on one of their patented 10-play drives that found Brayden Petre running in one from 2-yards away. After a Jake Metiva 2-yard pass to Wilson Huckeby on the two-point try, the Falcons grabbed the lead at 8-6. Swan Valley had their offense rolling early here. This time Klein would connect with Jameson Pett on another score, this time from 75-yards away. That’s where things would stand as the Vikings held a 13-8 lead after one.
That is about as good as it would get for Swan Valley. The Falcons would really start to take control after a 13-play drive that ended with Sam Talaga punching one in from 3-yards away to put Freeland back on top, 16-13. Then speedster Ty Fournier would find some daylight to bust loose and take one in from 62-yards out. A successful two-point conversion would give Freeland a 24-13 lead to that point. Fournier would reach the endzone shortly after, this time on a 12-yard pass from Metiva. Metiva then found Talaga on the two-point connection to up the lead to 32-13, Falcons. Ethan Gose would cap a big quarter off for Freeland on a 27-yard field goal and the Falcons would cruise into the half with a 35-13 lead.
It wouldn’t be the last score of the night for Freeland. Petrie would find the endzone in the third quarter on a 9-yard touchdown run. The drive itself account for 13 plays as the Freeland offense began to lean on the ground game to grab their first score of the half. The Vikings offense would finally find life again as Klein would connect with Pett for the third time on the night to give themselves some life. Freeland would still hold a 42-20 lead after three quarters of play.
The Falcons couldn’t have ended the night any better as they held firm control in the fourth to cap off the game. Talaga bounced his way in from 7-yards out to up the Falcons lead to 49-20. Max Hyne would cap things off for the Falcons offense to put this one away. Freeland comes into week two and cruises over Swan Valley, 55-20.
Swan Valley starts the season at 0-2, something that they aren’t accustomed to. They’ll look for their first win of the season when they take on a Brdigeport team coming off a big loss to Birch Run. The Vikings will look to see if they can get things going on the defensive side. The Swan Valley offense might have found something in the connection of Klein and Pett.
This was a big one for Freeland as they really started to gel on both sides of the ball. Aside from a few big plays given up, the Falcons defense contained Swan Valley for much of the night. The Falcons offense looked much more like itself. Getting the ground game operating to open up things in the pass game is where this Freeland team should thrive. They’ll head on the road for the third week in a row next week when they take on a Garber team that has been very impressive through two weeks of the football season.