BONIFAY -- For the second time this year, turnovers cost the Freeport Bulldogs. Freeport fumbled it away five times and threw one interception for a 34-14 loss to the Holmes County Blue Devils in varsity football action Friday night in Bonifay.
“Turnovers were the difference,” said Freeport Coach Shaun Arntz.
A couple of weeks ago, Freeport lost its opener on five turnovers.
“At this point it’s a pride thing,” Arntz said, noting they spend a lot of time at practice working on protecting the football.
“We have to protect when we need to pass, we’ve got to block when we need to run and we’ve got to hold on to the football. It’s as simple as that,” he said.
However Freeport struggled on the road in Bonifay.
On Freeport’s first two possessions, they fumbled the ball away.
On the second turnover, Holmes County capitalized with Michael Paul, who finished the night with 135 yards and two touchdowns, ran it in from 5 yards out for the score. On a bad snap, Austin Gibson ran in the two-point conversion for an 8-0 start.
Freeport put together an 11-play drive but failed to score.
Holmes County took over on its own 33-yard line and put together an 11-play drive with Paul picking up his second TD of the night on a 26-yard run around the left end. The kick after was no good for a 14-0 game.
At the start of the second quarter, Freeport struck quickly when K’wan Powell broke loose for a 72-yard scamper down the left side line for the touchdown. Tragen Appelman kicked in the point after for a 14-7 game.
In the third quarter, Holmes scored on their opening drive with quarterback Tyler Lee sneaking it in from 1 yard out. Gibson kicked in the point after for the 21-7 lead.
On Freeport’s first possession, the Bulldogs fumbled it away. Holmes failed to make a first down.
On the Bulldogs third possession of the third quarter, they fumbled it away again. This time turned it into six points. With the ball on the 31-yard line, Zaveion Matthews ran it around the right end for the TD and a 27-7 game.
At the start of the fourth, Freeport was on the move making three first downs, before they fumbled it away. The defense held the Blue Devils in check forcing a punt.
Late in the fourth, Freeport lost the ball again when Rajah Hooks was picked off by Holmes County’s Michael Hull. Three plays later, the Blue Devils were in the end zone on a 17-yard run by Josiah Farrow.
In the last two minutes of play, Freeport got on the board one last time. Powell, who finished the night with 177 yards in 18 carries, broke loose for a 63-yard run. Two plays later, Shannon “Junior” Carswell took it in from 1-yard out for the TD. Appelman kicked in the point after for a 34-14 finish.
For the game, Freeport had 260 yards total offense and Holmes 315.