For their first five games, the Freeman Scotties looked to their powerful running game to generate offense.
Friday night they let the quarterback in on the act.
Junior Preston Hoppman threw a pair of second-quarter touchdown passes to Kian Genteman and ran for a third to stake undefeated Freeman to a 21-0 lead en route to a 50-14 thumping of Lakeside to spoil the Eagles’ homecoming celebration.
“Hopp had his best night throwing the ball this season,” Freeman coach Jim Wood said. “He knew where he was going with the ball and did a good job getting it there. He had a couple bad throws, but for the most part he threw well.”
For a quarterback, it doesn’t get better than having a 6-foot-3, 205-pound wide receiver matched up against significantly smaller and lighter cornerbacks.
“That’s always going to be a mismatch,” Hoppman said. “We had our game plan worked out and we knew he was going to have a big size advantage. It’s pretty easy throwing to a big target like him.”
“I probably have 50 pounds on their cornerbacks,” Genteman added. “It was great to get the chance to catch a few balls.”
Not to be outdone, running back Max Laib ran for three touchdowns and freshman reserve running back Ribenson Darcy added another for Freeman (6-0, 3-0 Northeast A).
Still, there was a downside to the win.
Lakeside (4-2, 3-1) snapped Freeman’s three-game string of shutouts when Cameron Gay fired a 13-yard touchdown pass to Coleton Collins with 13.3 seconds left in the first half.
Grant Perkins broke free for a 34-yard touchdown run for Lakeside in the fourth quarter.
“Honestly, it feels like a loss,” said Genteman, who doubles as a linebacker. “Our defense never should have let them score.
“We know we can get better – we’re never satisfied.”
Hoppman got the Scotties on the board on their second possession – taking over at the Lakeside 26 after the defense pinned the Eagles deep in their own territory and managed only a 9-yard punt.
Hoppman’s first completion of the night was a 5-yard out to Genteman, who carried three defenders another 6 yards downfield to give Freeman a first-and-goal at the Lakeside 8. He bulled over from the 1 on third down for a 6-0 lead when the point-after was blocked.
On the second play of the second quarter, he fired 11 yards to Genteman for a touchdown, then repeated the play for a two-point conversion.
After Freeman recovered a Lakeside fumble at the Eagles 22, Hoppman fired his second TD pass to Genteman, this one from 22 yards out.
Laib scored on runs of 7, 1 and 2 yards.