Canistota/Freeman defeated Howard 46-14 in the Class 9A championship game on Thursday, winning their first state football title as a co-op.
Howard won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. Canistota/Freeman then went 60-yards on their opening drive that was capped off with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Trey Ortman to Braxton Schmidt. The two-point conversion was good, which gave the Pride an early 8-0 lead.
The Tigers answered on their first drive of the game. A 62-yard drive was finished with a 5-yard touchdown run by Zach Pardy. The two-point conversion was no good, keeping the lead with Canistota/Freeman near the midway point of the opening quarter.
End of the first quarter: Canistota/Freeman 8 Howard 6
On the first play of the second quarter, the Ortman brother duo of Trey to Tyce went for a 50-yard arial score. After a successful two-point conversion, the Pride extended their lead to 10-points.
Canistota/Freeman kept their scoring trend going with 4:33 to play in the half, courtesy of a 6-yard quarterback keeper by Trey Ortman.
Halftime: Canistota/Freeman 24 Howard 6
Howard received to start the third quarter, but the Tigers drive quickly stalled. The Pride would pick up where they left off in the first half as a 48-yard drive was capped off with an 18-yard touchdown run by Austin Thu. This gave Canistota/Freeman a 32-6 lead midway through the third quarter.
Desperately needing points, Howard found the end zone on their next drive with a one-yard quarterback keeper by Isaac Feldhaus. After a successful two-point conversion, the score read Canistota/Freeman 32-14 over Howard.
End of the third quarter: Canistota/Freeman 32 Howard 14
The pride added to their point total early in the fourth quarter when running back Bailey Sage found space up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was no good, and with 8:45 to play in the game, Canistota/Freeman led Howard 38-14.
A Tyce Ortman interception gave the ball back to Canistota/Freeman on Howard’s next drive. This led to a 84-yard drive by the Pride that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Isiah Robertson.
Final: Canistota/Freeman 46 Howard 14
This is the first state football championship for the Canistota/Freeman co-op. For Freeman, they have five previous state titles, while Canistota had four.
Joe Robbie MVP: Trey Ortman
Outstanding Lineman: Jared Tieszen
Outstanding Back: Trey Ortman