TAMPA — Despite committing six turnovers, Wharton got touchdowns from all three facets of the game in the first half and made it stand to earn the road win at Freedom on Thursday night.
The Wildcats (2-1) scored touchdowns on defense, offense and special teams in a 15-minute span in the first half to essentially put the game out of reach against the Patriots (1-2) before the half.
With Freedom driving late in the first quarter, Wharton senior defensive back Jeremy Jefferson picked off a DJ Grant pass and took it 75 yards for the score.
After forcing a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, Wharton’s Mike Mola returned a shanked punt 25 yards for another score.
Running back Jeffrey Keil ran in a touchdown from 3 yards out right before the half to complete the scoring for the Wildcats.
Despite three fumbles lost, Kiel was the only offensive threat for either team as he ran 24 times for 150 yards and the score. Wharton starting QB Chase Litton couldn’t get anything going through the air but rushed for 80 yards on just four carries.
Freedom’s lone score came in the fourth quarter when Andre Folkes scored on second-and-goal from the 6-yard line.
Wharton 7 12 0 0 — 19
Freedom 0 0 0 6 — 6
W - Jefferson 75 interception return (Spearringer kick)
W - Mola 25 punt return (kick failed)
W - Keil 3 run (run failed)
F - Folkes 6 run (run failed)