Freeman yet to be scored on this season after impressive showing against Chewelah
By Geno Ludwig/Staff Correspondent
Unfortunately, close only counts in horseshoes. Chewelah had its chance to become the first team to put up points against undefeated and unscored-upon Freeman last Friday night, but the first quarter Cougar thrust into Scotty territory stalled on the seven-yard line.
That is the closest Chewelah got to the end zone. All other Cougar possessions ended short of the goal line as they became the fourth victim of the Freeman juggernaut that has now goose-egged four consecutive opponents. The Scotties won by a 42-0 score, propelled by Ben Darcy’s 244 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
It was also an emotion-charged night for the Cougars and their fans, who honored nine seniors and paid tribute to a fallen comrade prior to their final home game, which was the last game played on the Snyder Field turf before renovation.
Aaron Norris would have been a senior Cougar this season, but he lost a valiant battle to brain cancer in 2014.
His senior classmates held his number 72 jersey up during the pregame introductions and carried it onto the field for the coin toss. Then, they took the jersey out as the eleventh man for their first offensive play of the game.
Plagued by three first quarter turnovers, all of which triggered Freeman touchdowns, the Cougars found themselves on the short end of a 21-0 score early in the game. They trailed 35-0 at halftime, but held the Scotties to only one touchdown in the second half.
Because of a lost fumble and an intercepted pass, Chewelah was down 14-0 with merely three minutes gone off the score clock. Still, the Cougars had advanced the football before both turnovers and were again finding running room on their third possession behind a much-improved offensive line.
Starting at their own 32-yard line following a 30-yard kickoff return by Jensen Holloway, the Cougars launched their longest drive of the game. Dom Coleman, Nolan Hansen, Elan Krausz, and Holloway went to work on the ground, earning four first downs and a first-and- ten on the Freeman 11-yard line.
However, this is where the drive sputtered and died. Three carries left the ball six yards short of the first down marker. Then, a fourth down pass fell incomplete, and Chewelah turned the ball over on downs at the seven-yard line. The failure of this drive to produce points, followed by a third Cougar turnover, kept the momentum on the Scotty sideline through the remainder of the first half. Freeman led 35-0 at the intermission.
Chewelah made some changes at halftime, which limited Freeman to just one more touchdown throughout the second half.
Darcy was a thorn in the thigh pads of the Chewelah defense until the end of the third quarter when he was taken out of the game. By that time the damage had been done. Darcy has a favorable combination of shake and bake maneuverability mixed with dragstrip speed. His five-yard scoring run at the end of that time period gave Freeman its 42-0 winning spread.
It was the last of four touchdowns scored by the senior Scotty tailback. His other three scoring runs were for 11 yards, 89 yards, and 46 yards. He came off the field with 20 carries for 244 yards.
The three turnovers at the beginning of the game quickly dampened Chewelah’s chances of competing with the Scotties, and Freeman took advantage of every one of them. With 11:51 remaining in the second quarter, the Cougars had already dug themselves into a 21-0 hole. There were times during the course of the game when Chewelah had the beginning of a good offensive series, but the Cougars failed to finish. In the end, Chewelah really did not play that bad. Freeman was just that good on both sides of the ball.
Hansen had runs of 7, 13, and 22 yards, and earning two first downs. His 42 yards led the Cougars on the ground. Coleman had seven carries for 30 yards, Holloway had 6 carries for 17 yards, and Kaden Mackowiak gained 15 yards from 7 carries.
Altogether, Chewelah had 115 rushing yards and three pass completions totaling 16 yards. The Cougars suffered their first shutout loss and dropped to 1-2 in League play, 2-2 for the season.
Freeman finished with 426 yards of offense, 382 rushing and 44 passing. The Scotties have scored 166 unanswered points and are 2-0 in league action, 4-0 overall.
Deer Park is next on the schedule for the Cougars this Friday night. The Stags are undefeated in league action with wins over Colville and Lakeside.
Lakeside will get its shot at Freeman this week. Riverside will travel to Medical Lake. Colville and Newport both have a bye.
FREEMAN 42, CHEWELAH 0
Freeman 14 21 7 0-42
Chewelah 0 0 0 0-0
F – Darcy 11-yard run (Cottrell kick)
F – McGill 29-yard pass from Neely (Cottrell kick)
F – Fuchs 5-yard pass from Neely (Cottell kick)
F – Darcy 89-yard run (Cottrell kick)
F – Darcy 46-yard run (Cottrell kick)
F – Darcy 5-yard run (Cottrell kick)
NEA League Scores
Newport 50, Medical Lake 0
Deer Park 20, Lakeside 13
Freeman 42, Chewelah 0
Colville 42, Riverside 0