TAMPA — Freedom scored all its points in the first half, but that was all the Patriots needed to beat division foe Wharton and keep the Wildcats from a playoff berth.
"This was definitely a statement win for us," Freedom coach James Harrell said. "Hopefully down the road, if we (continue) winning, good things will happen," he said.
Freedom (4-2, 1-1) scored first on an 8-yard run by Keith Lewis in the first quarter. Wharton (2-5, 1-1) answered on its next possession with a 4-yard rushing touchdown by Malik Williams to tie the game at 7.
Freedom took it from there.
The Patriots' T.J. Mutcherson returned the ensuing kickoff 73 yards for a score.
Freedom's Tyler Guy went 5 of 9 for 97 yards while rushing for 25 yards. Mutcherson had three catches for 80 yards.
Ben Keller, Times correspondent