BAKER – Junior quarterback Gabe Moore ran for four touchdowns and threw for another to lead the Freeport Bulldogs to a thrilling 41-34 win over the Baker Gators.
In the District 1-1A opener for both teams, Moore rushed 13 times for 92 yards and four touchdowns and completed seven of 14 passes for 122 yards and one TD completion to Nick Russell. Moore scored the game-winner just just under two minutes remaining to give Freeport the win in a game where the lead changed hands six times.
“Baker was more physical than we were,” said Freeport Coach Jim Anderson as he walked off the field. “But our guys rose up and did what they had to do.”
Freeport scored on its first possession with Moore breaking loose on the left side for a 62-yard scamper to the end zone. Moore kicked in the point after and the Bulldogs led 7-0.
Baker moved the ball on its first possession but didn’t score until their second. Starting from their own 30-yard line, the Gators put to-gether an eight-play drive with quarterback Adam Crowson breaking two or three tackles for a 28-yard dash to paydirt. The kick after by Malcolm Griffith was good and the game was tied.
At the start of the second, Freeport scored again on a 10-yard run by Moore, followed by a PAT by Moore.
But the Gators came back to even the score before the half on a 6-yard run by D.J. Thomas. The Gators were penalized on the PAT, but Griffith still booted in the kick from 25-yards out for a 14-14 game at the break.
Baker had the ball first to start the third and took it in, needing just five plays. Crowson, who finished with 100 yards, scored on an 18-yard run. The extra point attempt failed for a 20-14 game.
Freeport didn’t waste any time answering. Owen Cole broke loose on the first play from scrimmage, rambling 59-yards for the score. Moore kicked in the point after and Freeport went up 21-20.
On the Gators next possession, Crowson was picked off by Freeport’s Cole with 6:44 to go in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs put together a seven-play drive with Moore hitting Russell on a post route. Russell side stepped a defender and took it on in for a 25-yard score. The kick after went wide left for a 27-20 game.
At the start of the fourth, Baker evened the score. Richard Stroheker, who finished with 86 yards in 13 carries, picked up 32 yards on the first play. Five plays later, Stroheker took it on in from eight yards out for the score. Griffith kicked in the point after to tie the game.
Freeport again answered with Moore finishing off a 51-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge up the middle for the score. The Bulldogs went for 2 and missed.
The physical Baker Gators came right back and scored in nine plays. Crowson hit Austin Martin for a gain of 27 yards before DJ Thomas scored on a 3-yard run. Griffith kicked in the point after for a 34-33 advantage with 2:39 left to play.
Freeport pulled off a big play with Moore connecting with Cole on a 39-yard strike putting the ball on the 1-yard line. Moore pushed it up the middle for the score and a 41-34 advantage with 1:44 on the clock.
With the clock ticking down, Baker went for a trick play that went nowhere, and Freeport’s defense stood tall to preserve the 7-point win..
Freeport got the ball back with 33 seconds and ran out the clock.
For the game, Freeport had 201 yards rushing, while Baker totaled 255. Moore completed 7 of 14 for 122 yards, while Baker’s Crowson was 4 of 7 for 42 yards and one intercepti