VALRICO — Bloomingdale used a stout defense and just enough offense to defeat Freedom 12-3 in a preseason game at Charley Harris Stadium. Although the Bulls controlled the ball much of the first half, they were unable to put points on the board, as the game went to halftime a scoreless tie.
Key drive: The first drive of the third quarter found Freedom at its own 15. A poor snap resulted in the Bulls recovering the ball in the end zone for a safety and 2-0 lead.
Play of the game: Following the safety, senior Doug Sandberg returned the free kick for a touchdown. Shane Nesmith added the extra point and the Bulls seized momentum to go up 9-0, a lead that proved insurmountable for a Patriots team struggling to find its offensive groove.
Star of the game: With Logan Crouse not participating this week, Sandberg was the key cog in the Bulls’ offense. In addition to the kick return for a touchdown, the two-sport star caught seven passes for 111 yards.
Stat of the game: Penalties and sloppy play are to be expected during a preseason game, but Freedom racking up 18 penalties for 130 yards will likely give coach Todd Donohoe cause for concern going into the season opener.
Final word: “ We learned how to fight. We learned how to fight together for four quarters: I’m so proud of this team.” — Bulls coach Brian Surcy