By PATRICK CASEY
Nathan Hendrickson ran for 118 yards and three touchdowns as the Freeport Bulldogs won their opening district game of the year 35-16 to improve to 2-1 on the season. The game was played in front of a raucous Homecoming crowd that saw the host team help with the celebration by building a 28-7 halftime lead.
Freeport left little doubt as to their desire to win the game as the squad scored touchdowns on their first four possessions of the contest. Hendrickson provided runs of 4, 2 and 42 yards in the opening half to put the Wewahitchka Gators in a deep hole.
Cody Binder gave Freeport a 14-0 lead as he hauled in a Cole Weeks pass from 28 yards out for the Bulldogs other score of the first half.
Wewa’s lone points in the first 24 minutes of play came on a 2-yard run by Colton Price, who led the Gators in rushing on the night with 63 rushing yards.
Any hopes Wewahitchka had of getting back in the game vanished on the opening kickoff as the Gators fumbled the kickoff into the hands of Bulldog Paul Holmes. Holmes promptly raced 25 yards with the fumble return to pad the Freeport lead to 35-7 just seconds into the third quarter.
While Freeport was working on running the ball, and the clock, the Gators managed to take advantage of a Freeport fumble to march 32 yards in seven plays as reserve quarterback Beau McCorvey hit Tyler Lanter on a 5-yard pass to cut the lead to 35-14.
Wewa would not get much closer as the Freeport defense forced a fumble and stopped the Gators on fourth down plays twice in the fourth quarter. Freeport punter Cole Weeks elected to give the Gators a safety with 1:02 left in the game as he stepped out of the back of the endzone instead of punting the football.
Weeks was 6-of-8 throwing the football for 120 yards and one touchdown. Cody Binder rushed for 63 yards and caught three passes for 62 more.
Freeport (2-1) will travel to Franklin County (0-4) for the Bulldogs second game of the district slate on Friday, October 3, at 7 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS 1 2 3 4 F
WEWAHITCHKA 0 7 7 2 16
FREEPORT 14 14 7 0 35
FRE- Hendrickson 4 run (Farmer kick)
FRE- Binder 28 pass from Weeks (Farmer kick)
FRE- Hendrickson 17 run (Farmer kick)
WEWA- Price 2 run (Knowles kick)
FRE- Hendrickson 42 run (Farmer kick)
FRE- Holmes 25 fumble return (Farmer kick)
WEWA- Lanter 5 pass from McCorvey(Knowles kick)
WEWA- Safety, punter runs out of endzone
TEAM STATISTICS FRE WEWA
First Downs 16 12
Rushes-Yards 41-180 28-95
Passing Yards 143 182
Comp.-Att.-Int. 7-9-0 14-23-0
Plays-Total Offense 50-323 51-277
Return Yards 69 98
Punts-Average 2-31 1-40
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 4-3
Interceptions-Yards Ret 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 7-53 3-20
Time Of Poss 24:25 23:35
Rushing: FRE- Hendrickson 17-118, Binder 11-63, A.Hooter 2-30, Ogles 1-6, Wesson 4-1, Holms 1-(-5), TEAM 2-(-13), Weeks 3-(-20). WEWA- Price 8-63, Knowles 5-15, McCorvey 2-9, Wade 13-8.
Passing: FRE- Weeks 6-8-0-120, Reynolds 1-1-0-23. WEWA- Wade 13-20-0-177, McCorvey 1-3-0-5.
Receiving: FRE- Binder 3-62, Ogles 1-26, Farmer 1-23, Hendrickson 1-16, Reynolds 1-16. WEWA- Knowles 4-75, Veasey 3-48, Lollie 3-19, Lanter 2-5, Peak 1-17, McCorvey 1-12, Price 0-6.