FREEPORT — At the beginning of the season, the Freeport High School football team looked at its 2019 schedule. After moving back up to Class C after winning the State Class E championship a year ago, the Falcons had some familiar foes on the slate, including their only loss from last year. 

Freeport’s Tre Morris turns the quarter during a run in the first half of Friday’s 41-6 victory over Poland in Class D football action at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field on Friday. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

After falling to Poland, 43-12, Freeport was looking to get some revenge.  

Tre Morris returned the opening kickoff 70 yards for a score and running back Adam Ulrickson found the end zone five times as the Falcons avenged the loss with a 41-6 victory at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field on Friday night. 

 We wanted this game tonight, we hadn’t forgotten about last year’s game,” Ulrickson said, after being honored with his fellow classmates in their last regular season home game. 

Ulrickson rushed for 226 of Freeport’s 383 yards. Caden Benedict added 86. 

The lineman have been phenomenal this year, firing off the blocks,” the senior added. “I’ve always had good lineman, but these guys take it serious.” 

Freeport improved to 5-1, while the Knights fell to 1-6. 

We’re a building program, we had had 25 kids in pads tonight,” Poland coach Spencer Emerson said. “It’s all about competing, and the score will take care of itself. We had some mental mistakes tonight, but Freeport is a good team.” 

After losing to Cape Elizabeth on Oct. 4 (21-20), the Falcons had their second week off after Dirigo suspended its program, and the extra week only fueled Freeport more, as the team learned from the loss and got back to business. 

It sure got them fired up, we stepped it up a notch in practice and brought it back to almost summertime stuff.” Freeport coach Paul St. Pierre said of the two weeks of practice. “We had to because after watching the Cape film, we saw we had some flaws we needed to correct. 

Freeport’s Adam Ulrickson (22) looks for the hole before scoring a 5-yard touchdown early in the second quarter against Poland. The Falcons downed the Knights, 41-6 at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field on Friday night. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

The one-point loss sat with the Falcons for two weeks. 

It was bitter, but it served as motivation the whole time. When you win you can kind of rest on the win a little bit, but with the loss, you get hungry and want to get back to work. We watched film on that Monday and got right back to work the next day,” added St. Pierre. 

The players were quick to respond, saying practices that past two weeks were intense. 

“We took this time to evaluate ourselves and as a team. We had those two weeks to practice, and game time came, and we took care of it,” Morris said. “Technique through practice, everything pays off and we got the job done.” 

“Practice was more intense than this game actually,” Ulrickson added. “That was a tough loss to Cape, but it was our fault. It was good to go out there tonight and put it all back together.” 

Freeport was sharp right from the start. The Falcons received the opening kickoff and Morris energized the full capacity homecoming crowd with a return down the middle of the field for a touchdown. 

I came in this game with a job and I knew what I had to do,” Morris saidI play hard for my team, they have my back, I have theirs. I saw the space and just shot it.” 

After Freeport recovered a fumble on the Knights first play from scrimmage, the Falcons scored on three plays, an Ulrickson 6-yard dive into the right corner for the score. 

Freeport added touchdowns on its next two drives, both Ulrickson runs (34 and fiveand the Falcons held a commanding 27-0 lead early in the second quarter. 

Meanwhile, the Freeport defense was keeping the Poland offense in check, stuffing the run and limiting Knights quarterback Brady Downing to short passes that often ended up in negative yardage. The Falcons were led by Morris, Joe Coleman, Ulrickson, Treyvon Murhammer and Benedict in the first half, combining for 10 tackles amongst them as Poland had negative yards on the ground, spurred by one-and-a-half sacks by Morris. 

Tre is phenomenal, when he is in control, he can do anything on both sides of the ball. He brought the intensity and the skill, he played well and we’re very proud of him,” St. Pierre said. 

Freeport and Ulrickson added to the Falcon lead with 4:13 left in the third quarter with a 93-yard drive, capped off by an Ulrickson 32-yard score, sending the game to a running clock at 41-0. 

Poland put together its best drive that began on its own 38-yard line. After Downing (8-for-13, 44 yards) completed passes to Isaac Fifield and Levi Lawrence, the Knights nearly scored on a Joe Ringuette run but fell a yard short. Downing ran the ball in on a quarterback sneak on the next play to get the visitors on the board. 

Joe gave a good effort right there, he almost got in,” Downing said. “Putting that drive together we knew we were going to work towards this right now. Think about nothing and play for the team. When we have that mindset, I think we are a lot better team and, on that drive, we had that mindset. 

Downing credits Emerson’s words at halftime for the Knights effort in the second half. 

At halftime no one was talking much, thinking about what we needed to fix,” Downing said. “Coach came over and said, ‘look, right now this isn’t about winning, this isn’t about losing. It isn’t about you, me, him, this is about us taking pride in your team and your teammates and the name on the front of your jersey.’” 

We are a building program and if we can limit the mental errors and worry about repeating each rep, we’ll continue to grow,” Emerson said. “We came together in the second half and put a good drive together. Freeport is a good team, only two losses in two years. We were fortunate to get them last year and they played with vengeance tonight, they had this game circled on the schedule. 

The next game up on that schedule is at Camden Hills this upcoming Saturday at 1:30 p.m. 

We’ll wake up tomorrow morning, look at film, put this behind us and get ready for Camden Hills, on to the next one,” St. Pierre said. 

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