By Zeyad Ragab
EPC football kicked off this year on August 27th. It was a little bumpy for Freedom, the defending District champs, after losing 19-13 against Emmaus in the home opener. However, the Pates have a big bounce-back game. Week 2 kicked off against Easton, and Freedom won 33-20. Week 3 was against powerhouse Parkland, who had just come off a loss against Nazareth the week before. Unfortunately Parkland comes out with a close 21-13 win against Freedom.
Coming into Week 4, we saw the biggest matchup Freedom faced since hitting the field in Week 1. They faced Nazareth who was undefeated, 3-0. The Patriots slugged it out the whole game with both teams scoring back and forth. Before halftime Prajeet Santra hit a 26 yards field goal to get the Pates up by three going into the half. In the second half, Freedom and Nazareth continued going back and forth scoring and the Pats prevailed, winning 45-35.
At this point the Freedom Pates were 2-2 going on to the next week's match up against Central Catholic, who were 3-1. The Pates were hot going into this intense contest. After a scoreless first quarter, Freedom scored the first points in the game. The game ended with a great Freedom win, 33-14 and their record improved to 3-2, while Central dropped down to 3-2. The Patriots went on to play Allen, who were currently on a losing streak at 0-5. Freedom, after beating Nazareth and Allentown Central Catholic, were pumped up to get another win over the struggling Allen team. With a score of 33-0 at the end of the half, the Pates scored a quick touchdown at the start of the third quarter. Head Coach Jason Roeder put in the young players for the rest of the game. The score came out to be 46-0, making the Pates record go up at 4-2.
Now onto Week 7, the Pates were on a three-game winning streak. They faced another tough task in playing the Whitehall Zephyrs. Whitehall were coming off a big win against Parkland and feeling very confident, but the first half didn’t go as expected for them. It was 21-10 going into the half. Then in the third quarter the Pates scored a touchdown but a missed PAT makes the score 27-10. Whitehall was scoreless in the third, and finally scored in the fourth, making it 27-17, but it was too late as the Pates scored another touchdown to make it 33-17 with a missed PAT. Freedom improves to 5-2 on the year, and Whitehall drops to 5-3.
Most recently, the Pates headed to the mountains to play a confident Pleasant Valley team. The Bears came into the game 5-3. Going into the half, the Patriots were up 28-0. From there, they just ruined the Pleasant Valley team, beating them 49-0. This improves Freedom's record to 6-2 with a five-game winning streak.
The regular season ends with what we have all been waiting for, the city games. Bethlehem Catholic heading into their game with Freedom had already beaten Liberty to make them one step closer to the title of being city champs. The Golden Hawks headed into that game at 4-4, while the Pates were at 6-2.
To end the regular season, the Patriots go on to face Liberty in Week 10. This is going to be an action-packed game, the biggest in the Lehigh Valley, with hundreds of people in attendance. Our Freedom student body is hoping this huge game will be a repeat of last year, when the score was 28-13 in favor of Freedom.
As the season winds down for the Patriots, they will be going into the District playoffs. Last year’s Freedom team went 11-3 overall. They were on a nine-game winning streak until playing powerhouse state team St. Joe's Prep. St. Joe’s prevailed but the Pates gave them a hard time, with a dramatic ending when Ethan Niedig scored an important touchdown thrown by Brian Taylor to make it a 24-21. This year, Freedom has the momentum to could go even further.