A complete game from the has been Coach Steve Winiecki’s quest all season.
The Warriors got a lot closer with their 35-7 homecoming victory over Maine West Friday. The team is not there yet but got closer, according to Winiecki. Brett Freedberg was a big part of the squad’s leap.
Earlier: Warriors Crush Maine West for Homecoming Win
Freedberg returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown on special team, intercepted a pass on defense carrying the ball 35 yards to set up another Warrior score and on offense carried the ball for 44 yards.
“Our defense played very well,” Winiecki said. “We’re not 100 percent yet,” he added referring to the total effort. “I need to take a closer look at the video. There are still things we can do better.”
Freedberg, a cornerback on defense, was not only happy with the Warriors effort stopping Maine West but liked the way the unit went on the attack when he plucked an opposing pass out of the air on his own 35-yard line.
“He (the Maine West quarterback) missed with the throw and I caught it,” Freedberg said of the ball he snagged on the east sideline. “I saw a seam so I went the other way (toward the west sideline). The blocking set up real well.”
That interception, with Deerfield ahead, 28-7, was Freedberg’s second game changer of the night ending any chance Maine West might have had to climb back in the game. One play later quarterback Ben Ethridge ran 33 yards into the end zone.
An even bigger game changer was Freedberg’s kickoff return. Immediately after Maine West tied Deerfield, 7-7, with 7:21 remaining in the first quarter, the versatile Warrior fielded a squib kick on his own fifteen-yard line.
“I just picked up the ball, started to run and saw a crease,” Freedberg said. “My blockers set up really well and I followed them. They made it happen.” What happened was a 14-7 Deerfield lead which just kept building.
, improved as the game progressed leading the Warriors with his legs and his arm.
“As the game went on he made better reads,” Winiecki said. “(His passing) was keeping our balance,” the coach added describing the added dimension the aerial attack gives to the Warriors punch.
Though Ethridge’s passing led to Deerfield scoring he was happiest with a pair of completions in the last minute of the first half. Rather than protect a 20-7 lead, Deerfield went into a two-minute drill to move the ball.
“I really liked the pass completions in that series,” Ethridge said. “It makes us a run or pass offense. They (the defense) won’t keep putting eight guys up front.”