Fighting until the end

Football team battles for playoff spot


Luke Snavely/FHS Press

Making a move and avoiding a Beaver Falls defender, junior running back Joshua Pail runs the football on Oct. 15 at Geneva’s stadium.

A roller coaster of emotions is one way to describe the football team’s season this year. The season consisted of many highs and lows and ultimately resulted in a close race for the playoffs.

The Bulldogs finished off September by playing the Neshannock Lancers on Sept. 24. The game started close with the Bulldogs answering to the Lancers’ first touchdown with a 30-yard pass to senior Joshua Pail by senior quarterback Carter Slowinski. However, the team couldn’t overcome the Lancers, losing 49-6.

On Oct. 2, the Bulldogs began their October games by playing the reigning first place Laurel Spartans. This was Freedom’s annual Homecoming game. Before the game started, class of 2021 Homecoming Queen, Courtney Grunnagle, crowned Kinsley Aswani as King and Jessica Majors as Queen.

The Bulldogs were not able to put the ball in the end zone, as the team faced a devastating loss on Homecoming weekend. The final score was 48-0, Spartans.

Hoping to bounce back, the Bulldogs faced the Ellwood City Wolverines on Oct. 8. In decisive fashion, the Bulldogs defeated the Wolverines, 35-0. Slowinski had 16 completions out of 23 attempts for a total of 207 yards and one touchdown. This performance put Slowinski up as a nominee for the Beaver County Times football player of the week. Senior Josh Yeck also led the team with 84 receiving yards.

Coming off of a win, the Bulldogs hoped to continue their momentum against the Beaver Falls Tigers on Oct. 15 at Geneva stadium. Unfortunately for the team, the Tigers won in definite fashion, crushing the Bulldogs 41-8. Senior Colin Walton gave the Bulldogs their only score of the game with a 7-yard run into the end zone in the fourth quarter.

On Oct. 22, the Bulldogs looked for a win as they played the Mohawk Warriors at home on senior night. Senior night looked a bit different than other years; players and cheerleaders chose teachers to wear their jerseys and hold their cheer megaphones. The teachers then took a photo with the student after the announcers finished reading the student’s biography.

Senior night also brought a wonderful surprise for one majorette. Alumni and Air Force member, Brandon Majors, came home to surprise his sister, Jessica Majors. Jessica Majors did not know of the surprise, which generated a genuine family memory.

The game then went underway after all the senior football players, cheerleaders and band members were recognized. The scoring went back and forth until the second half, where the Bulldogs put up 20 unanswered points. The final score was 34-20. 

Senior Max Bozza had one of the best games of his life with 87 receiving yards and one key interception in the end zone. Yeck also had 81 receiving yards with a 55-yard passing touchdown in the first quarter.

“I was very excited to beat Mohawk because we played good, and that was my last home game,” Yeck said.

The team travels to New Brighton to take on the lions on Oct. 29. A win will push the Bulldogs into the playoffs, and a loss will eliminate them from contention. The whole season comes down to one game.

“My expectations for New Brighton is that it should be a close game, but we will come out on top,” Yeck said.