Foothill-Freedom postgame notes

What a game, writing a 400-word story doesn’t give it justice.

THANKS TO MAN O’WAR for the video footage from the game! Click below for some amazing highlights and a little analysis


— Cameron Gupton: Took that pitch from Runner on the hook-and-ladder 84 yards. That was some incredible speed he showed. Then, throws for a touchdown too?

Check out the speed on this hook and ladder:

— Roman Runner: Runner is the best receiver I’ve seen all year. All three of his touchdowns took incredible plays to make happen. On the first one, Ryan Walsworth had perfect posistion on him, but Runner just jumped over him basically and hung on in the corner. Then on the long TD from Gupton, it also looked like the pass had a chance to get picked off, but he some how caught it then was off to the races… the final catch he made to tie it up came after it was batted up and he caught it falling down. Unreal. Not sure why he doesn’t play defense.

Video of his touchdown that tied the game:

— Ryan Rodriguez: Ran for 111, threw for 330. When Freedom needed a big play, it was all him. Plus he made some plays on D as well at safety. Did a great job running the high-tempo offense and was very, very accurate with his passes. Aside from the one interception, he played nearly flawless.

Freedom overall: I thought they had the game won. When they scored all they needed was an extra point and to prevent Foothill from scoring with 1:04 left. That’s how close Freedom was to the semis. After that blocked PAT the wind was really gone from their sails so to speak.


— Sean Mannion: Best game of his young career. When he steps up and throws he delivers as good a ball as anyone in the area (Southwick, Nottingham, Rodriguez etc…). He did that well tonight. The throw he made to Lynch to win the game was absolutely perfect. To make that read and throw to a guy who only had 1 catch for -2 yards in the game really shows the faith he had in Lynch as well.

Touchdown pass from Mannion to Millard:

— Nathan Hinke: Most underrated player in the area. I think he is the best WR in the EBAL … he has the speed — outran the whole Freedom secondary on the 80-yard TD — size and hands to match up with just about anyone. The first TD catch he made (from Lynch) looked like it could have been intercepted, but he stayed with it, big, big play.

Video of the long TD by Hinke:

– Michael Young/Brian Babb: combined to get 101 yards — all of them were tough earned. Neither are the most physically gifted players, but they were just good enough to keep Freedom honest. There were a lot of third-and-short situations where they both came up huge.

— Patrick Lynch: In the SRV game a couple weeks ago he intercepted two passes, one of which sealed the win. Tonight he comes up with the biggest catch of the night — the 16-yard TD from Mannion to win it. Talk about having a knack for the big play.


–David Kluj: Over 100 yards receiving including a 23 yard TD and a 22 yard gain that brought Foothill from the 38 to the 16 on the final drive. He stepped up tonight. If Lynch doesn’t catch the TD, we would have seen James Langford on to kick a game-winning field goal.

–Ryan Walsworth: Long gain on the final drive really gets things going.

Video of that play:

–Coaches: Talk about opening up the playbook. Two half-back passes. A pass-then handoff — over 500 yards of offense. There were several other passes that nearly went for big yardage as well. Very impressive stuff out there tonight.

Blocked PAT by Foothill:

Kyle Bonagura

Kyle Bonagura is a Pleasanton-based prep sports writer for the Bay Area Newsgroup-East Bay.

  • Rich Ng

    Hats off to Foothill. They got it done in the end when they had to. But the Freedom Falcons have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. They came back from a two TD deficit to tie it up, then a three TD deficit to tie it again. Had they made that PAT at 41-41 to make it a 42-41 Freedom lead, I’m not sure the momentum would’ve shifted back to Foothill in that last minute and change. I’ve never seen the Freedom kids dig deeper, fight harder, or play better than they did tonight. This Freedom fan couldn’t be prouder of our team. Kevin Hartwig and his staff have done a wonderful job this year and I’m sure that the Foothill Falcons won’t soon forget the night that the Freedom Falcons came to town.

    The only negative was the attrocious visitor seating. For a school in that community to have such poor accommodations for the visiting team’s fans is a disgrace. The only visitor stands I can think of that are even worse are at Owen Owens where Foothill fans get to sit next weekend.

  • ManO’War

    Great game, great newsguy coverage – well summarized/analyzed, Kyle. Both teams great. Coaches battle, too, best of best maybe? Kluj stepped up huge, plays a lot anyway but was in for Justin Bolen (out with injury) at TE. Not a lot of penalties, but lots of spectacular plays. Also saw MV-SRV night before. Will try to post some clips on youtube later. Fan bleachers are not too good at Amador (where hero Lynch ran back 2nd half opening KO), either, not as bad at SRV – but splinters at Owens.

  • Hawaii


    I am sure you are just keeping Freedom fan’s happy but PAT or NO PAT, Foothill’s two minute off is second to none, they don’t ever spike and waste plays, they would have driven down for that score reardless of what FReedom did.
    Hats off to Freedom for not giving up when Foothill twice had big leads of 14 and 20 points. I agree, # 11 is the best receiver in the areabecause of his toughness going to the ball and after he has it and suns with it. He needs to play on Saturday’s next year in the Pac 10. The qfreedom b is a gamer and as i said all week Fothill had to stop his running and that would be the key. THye didnt and Frredom made it closer than it should have been.

  • Great game! Watched Foothill all year and saw Freedom against Amador and knew it would be a barn-burner. Two very similar teams. Saw a lot of complaining about the seeding but it looks like the committee got it right. Can’t believe Mannion will be back another year . . . definite D1 prospect.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Hawaii- Foothill may very well have scored, but it hadn’t done much in the three drives prior to that final one.

    Sweeney called two timeouts when Freedom had the ball inside the 10 — those two timeouts probably saved Foothill just as much as any of the big plays. Did anyone film this game? I wouldn’t mind watching it again haha.

    Also — A play I forgot to mention, was the first pass Mannion completed to Ryan Walsworth on the start of that last drive. It was a pass to the right sideline, Walsworth could have very easily just went out of bounds after he caught it, but he turned it into a really big gain — probably got an extra 20 yards or so.

  • ManO’War

    Kyle, I can get you a DVD of this game (so ha ha). You are 100% on Walsworth play, he broke through 2 tacklers to try to get more yards – go see rough clips on youtube (along with others, and SRV-MV game also) – suggest “watch in high quality”, do the “More From jrlang3” to see all. Maybe start with: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITae-hAbVhY or see Walsworth heads-up play: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgyWbAAVsSY

  • Well done. I was entranced by the play by play in this very exciting game. You covered it beautifully. I was getting a bit perturbed by the Northgate comments though as the blogger had nothing to do with this contest. Both teams stepped up and never quit. I’m impressed by both the individual and coaching efforts. Freedom doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of in this absolutly fantastic high school game. This is why high school sports are the most exciting events in the land. Sure beats election coverage and politics in general!

  • Kyle Bonagura

    MOW- The videos are great. Hopefully our site can handle me posting all of them here… Definitely better in high quality though.

    If you have DVDs made, email me and we could arrange something. Thanks.

  • EBAL Fan

    Pretty much all the visitor bleachers in the EBAL stink to be honest. Playing the “in that community,” card is ignorant. Take a run around the league and look at the rest of them — it’s just the way things are. The schools worry more about the quality of all their facilities than the visitor bleachers.