Freeport beats Deer Lakes for 10th consecutive time

Friday, September 11, 2020 | 10:52 PM

Freeport’s recent dominance over Deer Lakes continues.

The Yellowjackets defeated the Lancers, 29-7, on Friday in the season opener at Freeport. It was their 10th straight victory in the series between the Class 3A Allegheny Conference rivals.

“I am really proud of the boys,” Freeport coach John Gaillot said. “We need to fix a few things, but it’s just nice to play football.”

It was a positive beginning for Freeport after going 0-3 to open conference play in each of the past two seasons.

The Yellowjackets took the field with junior teammate Garrett King on their minds. King, a Freeport quarterback, was diagnosed with cancer last week and will not play this season.

Perhaps it was fitting one of King’s closest friends on the team — Cole Charlton — got Freeport on the board first.

Deer Lakes took possession early in the second quarter, and on first down near midfield, quarterback Derek Burk dropped back on a screen pass.

Charlton sat near the line of scrimmage and picked off the pass, his first of two interceptions in the game. He rambled 45 yards for the touchdown. Parker Lucas’ point-after kick gave Freeport a 7-0 lead with 9 minutes, 29 seconds left in the second quater.

The Yellowjackets then added two points to their lead after a bad snap into the end zone on a Deer Lakes punt attempt resulted in a safety.

Freeport fumbled four times in the first half, losing two. Lancers defensive lineman Paul Sciullo recovered both fumbles, but Deer Lakes was not able to take advantage.

But the Lancers got on the board with 8:31 left in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Bruce Allman. Nate Burke added the extra point. The score was set up by a 76-yard pass from Burk to Seth Sciubba.

Freeport extended its lead when Ben Lane took a swing pass to the left from Zach Clark, broke a couple of tackles and ran 57 yards for a touchdown. Lucas added the PAT, and Freeport led 16-7, with 2:55 left in the third quarter.

The Yellowjackets added insurance in the fourth with TD runs by Andrew Sullivan and Lane from 6 and 12 yards, respectively.

Clark, a sophomore making his first start, completed 11 of 13 passes for 142 yards.

“I am really proud of Zach Clark. He stepped in (for King) and did a really good job,” Gaillot said. “We didn’t want to put too much pressure on him, but he threw the ball well. I am very happy with that.”

Lane finished with 18 carries for 72 yards and added two catches for 65 yards. Freeport collected 167 yards on the ground.

Burk, a freshman also making his first start, completed 11 of 26 passes for 158 yards.

The Freeport defense limited the Lancers to 10 rushing yards.

“The defense really came to play, right to the end,” Gaillot said. “It’s a physical group of kids.”

Seth Sciubba finished with two catches for 97 yards for Deer Lakes.

The teams combined for 26 penalties, with Deer Lakes committing 14.

“There were a lot of nerves,” Deer Lakes coach Tim Burk said. “That happens. We had a lot of new faces out there. There were a lot of first-game jitters and some anxiousness, not even with the covid going on. But I think we got better as the game went on.

“But still, the inexperience is tough. We have a lot to work on, but I also saw some things we can build on. I appreciate their effort.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .

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