Freeport follows Lane to win against Derry

Friday, September 25, 2020 | 11:36 PM

The way Ben Lane played Friday night, you would have thought he played quarterback his entire life.

But the converted tailback was forced to switch when starting quarterback Garrett King was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Lane, a sophomore, ran for three touchdowns, returned a kickoff 95 yards for a score and tossed a 48-yard touchdown pass to lead Freeport to a 34-14 victory against Derry in a WPIAL Class 3A Allegheny Conference battle.

Freeport is 2-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference. Derry fell to 1-2 overall and 1-2 in the conference.

“Ben did a very good job,” Freeport coach John Gaillot said. “We’re a young team, but we keep fighting and are getting better every week.”

Freeport capitalized on a Derry fumble in the first quarter to grab a 6-0 lead. It was Lane scoring on a 17-yard run.

The Yellowjackets took a 13-0 lead in the second quarter when Lane scored on an 8-yard run around the end.

Derry responded to grab a 14-13 lead when senior quarterback Nick Detore tossed two touchdown passes within a minute.

He hit Matt McDowell on a 29-yard score to make it 13-7, and after Dakota Rhodes recovered a Freeport fumble, he tossed a 20-yard strike to Hunter Wack.

But Freeport responded in the final 1 minute, 47 seconds, and it was Lane directing a drive that ended with a 48-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Clark to make it 20-14 with 22 seconds left in the half.

“We checked out of defense into a three-deep,” Derry coach Vince Skillings said. “If we would have kept the defense we called, we would have had a safety there.

“We just didn’t play well. This is heartbreaking because we felt we could have had this one.”

Gaillot said the touchdown before halftime was huge. The kickoff return to begin the second half was bigger.

Lane returned the second-half kickoff to give Freeport a 27-14 lead.

“Ben is an amazing gentleman and football player,” Gaillot said. “That was unbelievable. He showed his poise and found the guy down the middle. The kickoff was something we put in years ago and finally used it.”

Lane added a late touchdown to finish the scoring midway through the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run.

Lane completed 13 of 22 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown. He also carried the ball 26 times for 114 yards and three scores. Clark had four catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.

For Derry, Detore completed 8 of 17 passes for 108 yards, two interceptions and two touchdowns.

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

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