Thursday, February 22, 2018
Sports

Football: Wharton 19, Freedom 6

TAMPA — In a game where wet field conditions made it tough on both teams to move the ball, Wharton relied on sound defense and special teams to defeat New Tampa rival Freedom 19-6 Thursday night.

The Wharton defense struck first late in the first quarter when cornerback Jermey Jefferson intercepted a pass and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown. Wharton capitalized on Freedom's mistakes. It was the opposite story for the Patriots. The Wildcats turned the ball over six times, yet Freedom produced only six points.

A key sequence in the second quarter summed up the game for the Patriots. After forcing a Wharton fumble at the goal line (preventing a Wharton touchdown) Freedom shanked a punt that Wharton returned for a touchdown.

Running back Jeff Keil was the bright spot for the Wildcats. Although he was responsible for a few fumbles, Keil still ran for 142 yards and a touchdown.

Freedom got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard run by Andre Folkes.

Mike McCollum, Times correspondent

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