By Cameron Valdez
The Laker/Lutz News Correspondent
It wasn’t the start to the 2012 season the Freedom football team was looking.
The Patriots (0-1) fell 57-7 at home against Durant on Sept. 1. First-year Freedom coach Todd Donohoe said everything has to improve for his squad to get on track.
“All three phases went wrong,” Donohoe said. “We have a long way to go.”
The night started off promising for the Patriots as they forced the Cougars (1-0) to a three-and-out on their opening possession.
Freedom was able to drive the ball down the field with back-to-back big runs by sophomore Johnny Rodicio and appeared to be in control until Durant’s defense forced a fumble to stop the drive short.
On the ensuing drive, Cougars’ quarterback Tyler VanDeGrift threw a 60-yard touchdown to Reggie Gainer.
Durant entered the second quarter leading 12-0 and added eight to its total after executing a fake punt on fourth-and-two. The trick play gave permanent momentum to the Cougars, who scored two touchdowns and added a field goal during the next three minutes to go up 37-0.
The Patriots did score late in the second quarter when backup quarterback DJ Grant ran in from nine yards out, but trailed 44-7 entering the locker room. Both coaches went to second- and third-string players after halftime.
Freedom travels to Plant City on Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
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