Freeport’s Caden Benedict rushes to the outside avoiding Lake Region’s River Hoeflich (18) on a screen pass before sprinting down the sidelines for a 42-yard touchdown. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

FREEPORT  — Freeport High School football coach Paul St. Pierre wasnt sure how his team would come out after having a bye last weekend.  

Following a 41-13 win against Morse on Sept. 6, the Falcons did not play last week, one of eight teams with a bye to start the season due to an odd number of teams playing Maine high school football this season.  

The week off didnt seem to hurt, as the Falcons scored early and often, rolling by previously unbeaten Lake Region, 38-8, Friday night at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field. 

You never know coming out of a bye how its going to go, St. Pierre said. Luckily, we had two weeks to heal, rest and prepare. Guys hadnt played in two weeks and really wanted to get out there and play. 

The Falcons rushed for 237 yards led by Adam Ulrickson (79 yards) and Tre Morris (84 yards), each with a rushing touchdown.  

We had some time to prepare as we had two weeks of film on them, Panciocco said of gearing up for the LakersI think we were prepared, and it showed on the scoreboard. 

On the opening kickoff, miscommunication by Lake Region resulted in a loose ball, which Freeport pounced on to gain possession

Freeport’s Adam Ulrickson (22) eyes the goal line as the senior scores a 17-yard touchdown just 30 seconds into the game against Lake Region at Joan Benoit Track and Field in Freeport. The Falcons beat the Lakers, 38-8. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

to start the game. After a 14-yard pass from Panciocco to Caden Benedict, Ulrickson burst up the middle, scampering to the end zone for a 17-yard score. Colby Petrin rushed the 2-point conversion and the Falcons had an 8-0 lead just 30 seconds in. 

That wasnt planned, it sort of just happened, St. Pierre said about recovering the opening kick. That was a great way to start, jumping out 8-0 got us in the right frame of mind. Plus, we knew we were going to get the ball back to start the second half, so it really set us up. 

Late in the quarter, the Falcons struck again with a 78-yard drive, highlighted by a 30-yard run by Ulrickson and capped off with a 42-yard screen pass from Panciocco to Benedict for the score. Ulricksons 2-point rush made it 16-0. 

The Lakers next drive resulted in three first downs, but a Falcons stop on fourth-down-and-five stalled out Lake Regions run on the Freeport 30-yard line. 

Each team traded punts, and on Freeports next possession, Panciocco hit Aidan Michaud with another screen pass, this time a 36-yard score. 

Freeport quarterback Anthony Panciocco (12) rushes to the outside during the third quarter of Friday’s Class C football clash between Lake Region and Freeport. The Falcons were victorious with a 38-8 victory over the Lakers. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

Weve been working on those since the first week, Panciocco said. We hadnt ran them yet, so it was good to get them in. 

Weve been practicing them for a while. We rarely run them, so we just figured wed give them a try. Once the first one worked, we did another. You never know, today they worked, St. Pierre added. 

Before the half ended, Freeport struck again with Morris sprinting down the field for an 84-yard score on his only carry of the night. Following the 2-point conversion from Petrin, the Falcons led 32-0 at the halftime break. 

Freeport finished with 137 yards on the ground in the first half, while Panciocco was nearly perfect, going 4-for-6 for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Freeport held the Lakers to only 49 yards rushing and 14 in the air. 

Freeport was forced to punt on its opening drive of the second half and Lake Region put together a positive drive. But a sack by Treyvon Murhammer on third down ended any threat. 

After a scoreless third quarter, Pancioccos passing (a 21-yard strike to Benedict), his rushing (14 yards) and the legs of Ulrickson drove the Falcons down the field before Colby Petrin powered his way through the middle for a 2-yard score to cap off Freeports scoring early in the fourth.  

A late touchdown by Lake Regions Brent Massey put the Lakers on the board to prevent being shut out. 

Freeports defense finished by only allowing 138 total yards of offense and 10 first downs. Lakers quarterback Ethan McMurray rushed for 64 yards, followed by Masseys 35. 

Panciocco finished 5-of-8 for 123 yards passing.  

The Falcons will enjoy the win but will get right back to work on Monday for their next game as they travel to Fryeburg Academy next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. 

 

The Freeport offensive line lines up against the Lake Region defense during the third quarter of Friday’s high school football game in Freeport. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

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