By PATRICK CASEY
The Freeport Bulldogs got runs of 79 and 75 yards out of sophomore quarterback Gabe Moore for touchdowns as the host squad defeated South Walton 39-13 on Friday night in Freeport. Moore, who also threw two touchdown passes on the evening, wound up with 192 rushing yards on only nine carries as the Bulldogs won for the seventh consecutive time in the series.
Freeport’s offense dominated in the opening half of play as the Bulldogs scored on all four of their possessions in the first half. Moore got the game started with a 79-yard touchdown run in the opening minute of play for a 6-0 lead.
After a missed field goal by the Seahawks, the Bulldogs were at it again as the squad marched 80 yards in 14 plays with James Leogrande capping the drive with a 5-yard plunge for a 14-0 lead. South Walton answered with a 70-yard march of their own with quarterback Dylan Asbury getting loose on a 35-yard run to cut the lead to 14-6 with 6:52 left in the first half.
The Bulldogs were not done as Zach Fordem took the first play from scrimmage 80 yards for a touchdown as Moore connected with him for a quick strike and a 21-6 lead.
South Walton drove to the Freeport 6-yard line before being stopped on downs by the Bulldogs defense with 90 seconds left in the first half. On the second play of the drive, Freeport’s Caleb McCormick got open down the home sidelines for a 92-yard touchdown pass from Moore to push the lead to 27-6 at intermission.
The Seahawks suffered a serious injury to quarterback Dylan Asbury early in the third quarter as he was nailed on a block while playing safety on defense. Asbury, who would later be diagnosed with a fourth degree lacerated liver, was life-flighted to Pensacola after the game and spent the weekend in ICU.
Hampton Schaffer took over in relief of Asbury and led the team on a 37-yard scoring drive after the Seahawks had stopped the Bulldogs on downs. Schaffer connected with Wes Martin on a 22-yard pass to cut the lead to 27-13 with 2:44 left in the third quarter.
Freeport again responded with a 75-yard drive that saw Brandon Head get loose on a 36-yard touchdown run to push the lead up to 33-13.
South Walton threatened to score on their next two possessions but the Freeport defense stopped the Seahawks both times as the visiting team turned the ball over on downs at the 7-yard line and 1-yard line without scoring.
Freeport put together a 99-yard scoring drive that saw Moore get loose on a 75-yard jaunt for the final score of the night.
The Seahawks, who were again victimized by the big play, also were hurt by penalties, especially on defense where they kept Freeport’s second drive of the night alive with substitution and offsides penalties that gave Freeport new life.
Wes Martin led the Seahawks with 114 rushing yards while Asbury totaled 80 yards on the ground before leaving in the third quarter due to injury.
Freeport produced 534 yards of total offense with five different players scoring touchdowns before a raucous Bulldogs crowd.
Freeport (1-1) will travel to Blountstown (0-2) to face the Tigers on Friday night at 7 p.m. while South Walton (0-2) has their bye week before hosting Northview (1-0) on Sept. 23 in a non-district contest.