FREEPORT — Three times in the game’s first six minutes, Poland’s defense found itself pinned deep in its own territory after fumbles recovered by Freeport.

But the Knights didn’t give up an inch, or a point. That’s hardly surprising, because Poland’s defense has been simply impenetrable this fall. Even more impressive, an interception return for a touchdown opened the scoring, and the Knights went on to a 22-2 victory in a Class D South game at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field.

Poland is 4-0 for the first time in program history and has surrendered just eight points in 192 minutes of action.

“We’ve relied on our defense a lot this year,” said Poland Coach Gus LeBlanc. “We’re going to bend but not break. This is a big win for our program.”

After a Freeport fumble recovery at the Knights 38 on the game’s third play, Poland pushed the Falcons (2-2) back 2 yards.

The Knights fumbled the ensuing punt as well and Freeport started at the 21. This time, the Falcons went backwards 16 yards.


Freeport, playing without starting quarterback Teddy Peters, as well as playmakers Adam Michaud and Cooper DeLois, and with Noah Michaud limited to defensive snaps only, then got another great chance when it recovered a fumble at the Poland 31. The Falcons gained 9 yards but couldn’t produce a first down, and its opportunity to seize control was gone for good.

“It could have been a whole different ballgame if we punched one of those in,” said Falcons Coach Paul St. Pierre. “We had guys out there without a lot of experience, and it showed.”

The Knights went ahead early in the second quarter when sophomore Damon Martin intercepted a pass from Falcons quarterback Alex Berry at the Freeport 25 and raced in untouched for a 6-0 lead.

“I just read the quarterback and I knew (the ball) was coming,” said Martin. “Nobody was catching me. We take a lot of pride in our defense and we work hard on it every day. I think we have one of the best defenses in the state.”

Late in the first half, Poland marched 56 yards in nine plays. Quarterback Dylan Cook found Regan Cohen for an 8-yard TD, and the two combined again on the 2-point conversion to make it 14-0 at halftime.

The Knights added to their lead early in the third quarter, driving 39 yards on six plays and taking a 22-0 advantage when Cook found Nick Aube for a 7-yard score, with Martin running in the 2-point conversion.

The Falcons got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter when they blocked a punt out of the end zone. Freeport hoped to draw even closer, but a second Martin interception, this one in diving fashion, slammed the door.

“I knew defensively we could hold our own,” said St. Pierre. “I had a lot of question marks on offense and received a lot of answers tonight. Unfortunately, not the ones we were looking for.”

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