2021.10.01 Football: Battlefield @ Freedom

South Riding, VA (October 11, 2021) - Well before game time, the Freedom stands were packed with Homecoming 2021 revelers, many dressed in neon orange and green. It was a perfect setting for a big celebration, but first the home crowd's 2-2 Eagles would have to play the Region 6B leading Battlefield Bobcats who sat atop the standing at 4-0.

Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted images from the game, the homecoming court, the dance team, and the marching band.

Freedom got the ball first, but their opening drive stalled and the Eagles were forced to punt. On Battlefield's second play from scrimmage quarterback Isaiah Walters found Braden Boggs  for an 80-yard touchdown. Just like that it was 7-0, and this connection was the first of many.

Freedom's offense was shut down again, but they faked a punt and were able to extend their next drive. The first quarter ended with Freedom going for it on fourth down, but Kevin Barton's pass into the end zone fell incomplete, and Battlefield took over to start the second quarter.

The second quarter was actually the best period for Freedom's defense. They stopped the Bobcats' potent offense on two straight possessions, but they couldn't make it three as Walters found Boggs again in the right corner of the end zone to make it 14-0.

On Freedom's next possession, Barton hit Cole Reemsnyder for the Eagles' first passing first down at 4:16 of the second quarter. That play was central to the Eagles' best sustained drive, but they turned the ball over on an interception at the at the Battlefield 20-yard line.

With just a minute left in the half, the Bobcats were on the move again and scored a devastating touchdown with just seconds left as Joshua Thaxton ran the ball in to make it 21-0 at halftime.

Freedom tried an onside kick to open the second half and it almost worked, but the ball bounced harmlessly out of bounds. When Battlefield took over, another long Walters to  Boggs connection made it 28-0 with just a minute gone in the third quarter.

But Freedom didn't give up and--after their first long possession of the night--Jayson Gary finally crossed the goal line for the Eagles. Freedom went for a two-point conversion, but failed to convert. 

But Battlefield's Graham Jones snatched the momentum back with a long run that ended on the Freedom one-yard line, and on the first play of the fourth quarter he finished the deal and made it 35-6.  Freedom's defense stood up again, but they muffed the ensuing punt which Jelon Johnson converted for a Bobcat touchdown just a few plays later to make it 42-6.

With only a few minute remaining in the game, Grant Hillenbrand turned in a great kickoff return setting up Barton to hit Reemsnyder for a final Freedom touchdown. It was obviously too little, too late, but never quitting in a game that was clearly dominated by Battlefield was something the Eagles could build on for next week. As for the Bobcats, their place at the top of the region is secure for another week.

Final Score: Battlefield 42 - Freedom 13

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