A-K Valley football Q&A: Freeport’s Ricky Hunter

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019 | 4:16 PM


Freeport got in the win column for the first time Friday night and did so in a dominating way, scoring touchdowns in all three phases of the game.

On the way to a 56-14 win over Uniontown, the Yellowjackets scored three touchdowns on punt returns, two on the ground, two through the air, and Brodey Woods picked off a pass and took it 63 yards to the house to tack on the defensive touchdown.

Freeport’s Ricky Hunter was one player who stood above the rest though. The 5-foot-9, 160-pound senior returned two of the three punts, found the end zone once on the ground, and also converted eight point-after attempts. Reflecting on the big game, Hunter said it was a product of the work he and his teammates put in throughout the week.

“Every day we’re out here and we try our hardest,” Hunter said. “We get to game day and we’re ready, and I’m ready to play because we practiced and we conditioned and I know I’m fit for the job.”

In the first quarter, Hunter had already converted two of his point-after attempts before taking a punt back 58 yards for his first touchdown of the night. Then, in the second quarter, Hunter returned his second punt for a touchdown, with a little help along the way.

“As soon as I saw the hole open up, Luke Miller was lead blocking for me and he didn’t know I was behind him, so I was like ‘go, go,’ ” Hunter said. “Garret (Schaffhauser) had a great stock block at the end, so I cut it back and I got into the end zone.”

He capped off Freeport’s scoring with a 10-yard run before the half.

Last season, the Yellowjackets picked up their first win in the same week, against the same opponent. They went on to win their next four games and secure a spot in the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs. With a significant win behind them, Hunter believes that changes could be on the horizon for his team.

“I think it’s going to be a turning point for us,” Hunter said. “We have a lot of confidence in these next few games coming up. We had confidence this past weekend, and we’re just gonna try our best to win every game from here on out. If we lose, there are no playoffs, and I really want to make it far for my senior year, same with the rest of the team.”

Hunter is the subject of this week’s Valley News Dispatch Q&A.

Is that the most PATs you’ve had in your career?

Eight? Yeah.

How did you become a kicker?

I played youth football, and I had played soccer when I was little, so when we lined up for the kick I just thought I’d try it out and I liked it. So, I just kept training for it.

What’s the better feeling, running between the tackles for a touchdown or a long field goal?

Kicking a long field goal is a really great feeling, just watching the ball fly through the air. But breaking a lot of tackles and getting into the end zone is a great feeling, too. They are about equal, it’s a great feeling in general.

What’s the longest field goal you’ve ever had?

In a game, 35 yards against Knoch on a PAT after we got a penalty. In practice, I’m between 50-52 yards on a good day.

What are three things you have to have in your fridge?

Iced tea, steak and ice cream cookie sandwiches.

Do you have any superstitions?

I always take my earrings out before warmups and stuff, but I’ll wear my chain right up until game time. It’s kind of like a good luck charm for me.

What’s a movie you can watch over and over again?

“Rocky 4.”

What’s your favorite TV Show?

“South Park.”

What’s your favorite meal?

Steak and double baked potatoes.

Is there any food you wouldn’t eat?

Brussels sprouts

NFL or college football?

I like to watch college more, mainly Penn State.

If you could change places with anyone in the world who would it be?

Chris Boswell. He’s got a life, all he does is kick, make field goals and win games.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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