Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Freedom's Win Yields a Keepsake

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Freedom's Win Yields a Keepsake

Article excerpt

Freedom coach Frank Hernandez walked out of Mohawk's stadium, clutching the game ball the Bulldogs used to defeat the Warriors, 35- 20, this past Friday.

It's a good bet the ball ends up in a prominent place.

The victory was the first for Hernandez as Freedom's head coach. It came after a 0-10 record in 2010 and an 0-2 start to this season. Although the win doesn't put Freedom in the same category as Midwestern Athletic Conference foes Aliquippa, Beaver Falls or Beaver, it just might be something to build on.

"We hope so," Hernandez said with a smile.

Freedom did two things in the game to put itself in position to win. The Bulldogs inserted junior Forrest Petcovic at quarterback and got a big first down on a fake punt by Allan-Michael Conforti.

Petcovic took over at quarterback midway through the second quarter with Freedom trailing, 7-0. The Bulldogs had not done much on offense to that point.

"Coming into the season, Forrest and Sam Becky were challenging each other to be the starting quarterback," Hernandez said. "We're a better team with Forrest at quarterback and Sam in the slot.

"Well, Forrest had a pretty bad ankle injury in our second scrimmage and we had to put Sam back at quarterback. We planned on playing Sam at quarterback and getting Forrest some reps [against Mohawk]. But when we put Forrest in there, the offense just clicked. He was like a jolt of energy."

Petcovic completed 4 of 6 passes for 83 yards and rushed for another 30.

Becky, who started the game at quarterback, finished with 58 yards rushing and caught three passes for another 74.

As for the fake punt, Freedom was looking at a fourth-and-2 situation on its 36 early in the third quarter with the score tied, 7-7. Hernandez said Conforti, the punter, has the green light to run if he spots a mismatch of Freedom blockers against defenders on the line, which he did.

Conforti gained 34 yards, skirting the right end. Freedom scored four plays later to take a 14-7 lead.

"We do practice that and hit on it last week," Hernandez said. "It was a big play for us."

Freedom entertains Aliquippa at 7 p.m. Friday.

AIR ZMIJANAC

Think Aliquippa football and visions of outstanding running backs with great moves and speed come to mind.

The Quips passing game? Sure, they have always thrown the football some under coach Mike Zmijanac, but that's not their "thing" on offense.

Don't look now, but Aliquippa quarterback Mikal Hall is leading the Beaver County area in passing yardage with 610 in three games. He has completed 23 of 43 pass attempts and thrown for seven touchdowns.

In Friday night's 46-28 victory against Riverside, Hall was 10 of 16 passing for 272 yards and three touchdowns.

The statistics for some of the Aliquippa receivers this season are gaudy.

Kaylan Kenney has six receptions for 246 yards (41-yard average) and Davion Hall has seven catches for 246 yards (33. …

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