Patriots can’t slow down run game in loss

Published 11:27 pm Friday, September 6, 2019

Freeport’s Brandon Siples scored four touchdown’s in the Bulldogs’ 43-28 win over the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots on Friday night in Troy.

The loss for the Patriots drops them to 1-2 on the season.

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots erased a 14-0 first half deficit only to see Freeport score the next 10 points in the half, leading to a 24-14 lead for the Bulldogs.

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After a fumble and a three-and-out by the Patriots, the Bulldogs took their second drive of the contest 83 yards for the game’s first score The drive lasted 12 plays, ending with a 17-yard touchdown pass by Keane Neal to Jordan Dobie.

After another three-and-out by the Patriots offense, the Bulldogs went 79 yards on seven plays and punctuated it with a 19-yard touchdown run by Neal.

The Patriots offense clicked into gear on their next drive. Nelson and the Patriots marched 63 yards to score their first touchdown of the game. Connor Cox hauled in a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Drew Nelson. Nelson had 51 passing yards during the drive.

Down 14-7, the Patriots forced a fumble that was recovered by Blake Leviner. Three plays later, Chip Faircloth scored on a 24-yard touchdown run. Scott Taylor Renfroe converted the extra point to tie the game at 14.

It didn’t stay tied for long as Brandon Siples caught Renfroe’s kick with his heels just off the goal line and ran it all the way back for a 99-yard touchdown.

After a three-and-out by the Patriot offense, Freeport regained possession with 1:45 remaining in the half. With time dwindling down they nailed a 21-yard field goal to put the Patriots down 10 at 24-14 heading into the break.

Freeport picked up where they left off when they took the second half’s first possession 80 yards. Siples scored his second touchdown of the night to increase the Bulldogs’ lead to 17 at 31-14.

The Patriots got back into the game on their next possession. Faircloth had 24 rushing yards on the drive and Nelson connected with Drew Sikes on a 37-yard touchdown pass to bring the Patriots back to within 10 with 5:20 remaining in the third quarter.

Siples scored his final two touchdowns on a 32-yard touchdown catch and a 63-yard run to put the Bulldogs up 22 at 43-21.

Sikes had his second long touchdown of the half when he hauled in a 32-yard pass from Nelson for the game’s final touchdown.

Faircloth led the way with 83 yards on the ground to go along with his one touchdown. Nelson finished 13 for 21 for 151 yards and had three touchdowns. Sikes finished with four catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson Senn led the way with 10 tackles, while Nick O’Brian and Frankie Jefcoat had seven Case Chirico finished with six.

The Patriots will be back in action next Friday night when they host Northside Methodist in the regional opener beginning at 7 p.m.