FREEPORT — The Freeport football team came into Monday’s game coming off its biggest loss of the season, a blowout to Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale.

“Last week wasn’t like us, we didn’t want to let that happen again,” said Freeport senior Danny Casale. “We didn’t want to have that same feeling again.”

The Falcons didn’t have that feeling on Monday night after jumping out to a 20-point lead in the first 3:18 of the game and didn’t look back in a 41-19 victory over Oak Hill (4-2), which was coming off a shortened week of practice due to COVID-19 issues.

Casale picked off Oak Hill quarterback Jackson Arbour on the first play of scrimmage and took it back 67 yards for a touchdown. Casale thinks his interception set the tone early.

“That gave us the jolt we needed,” he said. “Last week the secondary, including myself, had a terrible game. Today I needed to prove why I’m a starter and why I’m a senior captain.”

On the ensuing Raiders’ drive, Casale picked off Arbour again. He took it back to the 5-yard line, setting up a touchdown run for Jordan Knighton, who led the Falcons with 118 rushing yards on 13 carries. He scored three times, coming on runs of 5, 39 and 26 yards.

“The schedule has thrown us all off,” said Freeport head coach Paul St. Pierre, whose team was playing in its second consecutive game on a Monday. “Things will be back to normal this week with the bye.”

Nick White added 57 yards of rushing for Freeport while Caden Thompson paced Oak Hill with 59 yards on nine carries. He had a 12-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter.

“I thought we ran the ball well, we have a lot of positives we can take away from tonight,” said Oak Hill head coach Chad Stowell, whose team practiced just once in 10 days before Monday’s game due to COVID-19 issues. “Credit to them (Freeport), but I think we all know this wasn’t our best game.”

Arbour finished 6 of 14 through the air for 83 yards with two interceptions on the first two drives.

Oak Hill defenders bring down Nick White of Freeport on a second-quarter run in a Class D football game Monday in Freeport. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

“It was pretty tough for us to overcome how we started,” said Stowell. “It puts a lot of pressure on us. We had some good drives and took care of the football later. The start just wasn’t how we wanted it.”

Oak Hill got contributions from Tiger Hopkins and Maverick Swan. Hopkins had 53 yards of total offense while Swan finished with 14 yards and a touchdown.

“The lack of depth and time to prepare showed tonight,” added Stowell. “They (Freeport) were able to use their athleticism and strength to take care of business.”

The Falcons’ defense had two touchdowns. The second came when Jackson Carr stripped Arbour on a sack and Jacob Benjamin was able to pick it up to return it for a touchdown. Benjamin’s touchdown ultimately put the game out of reach in the third quarter, pushing the Freeport lead to 27.

“The defense was ready for anything that we were going to get,” said Casale. “The seniors have never lost on this field, and it surely wasn’t going to be tonight.”

The Falcons honored their seniors before the game, adding to the anticipation of the game for Casale and his teammates.

Freeport quarterback Aidan Heath finished 3 of 5 through the air for 40 yards and a touchdown. He found Tony Casale midway through the second quarter on a toss from 10 yards to give Freeport a 20-point lead at the time.

The Falcons will wait for their seeding in the Class D postseason with a scheduled bye coming this week.

Oak Hill also won’t play until the postseason begins.

“This is a time for us to recharge and get ready for the playoffs”, said Stowell. “We have some work we have to do before then, the guys will be ready to attack it.”

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