Defensive scores by senior linebackers Ed Marcelin and Steven Joseph (pictured left), a rushing touchdown by 6-foot-4, 325-pound lineman OC Davis and a perfect night of kicking by Zach Godbold gave Wharton a 42-7 win — and New Tampa bragging rights — over Freedom in the annual football showdown between our area’s local high school rivals.
The Wildcats’ win was the second-most lopsided ever (only the 36-0 win in 2006 was worse) against the Patriots, and Wharton now leads the series 11-6.
The Wildcats rushed for 246 yards and four touchdowns, with senior Ben Williams leading the way with 155 of them on 13 carries, two for touchdowns. Davis’ touchdown harkened back to William “The Refrigerator” Perry’s days as a member of the Super Bowl XX-winning Chicago Bears, when the defensive lineman was a short yardage sensation. Davis, by the way, is two inches taller than The Fridge in his prime, but about 30 pounds lighter.
Godbold, one of the top junior javelin throwers in the country, also is adept with his right foot. He was 6-for-6 on extra points, and booted three of his seven kickoffs into the end zone. Two others were fielded near the goal line and resulted in Freedom starting drives at their own 11- and 15-yard lines.
The Wildcats snapped a two-game losing streak to Freedom, and improved their overall 2019 record to 3-2 as of our press time. The Patriots, who picked up their first win of the season the week before by defeating Spoto 22-15, fell to 1-3.