APOLLO — Apollo-Ridge got back on track against a quality opponent after splitting games games to teams below them in the conference standings.
Apollo-Ridge, coming off a narrow victory over Valley and a loss to Steel Valley, beat Freedom, 27-19, at Owens Field on Friday night. Freedom came in at 7-1 as the WPIAL Class 2A Midwestern Conference champion. Apollo-Ridge (7-2) secured second place in the Allegheny Conference when East Allegheny beat Shady Side Academy on Friday night and likely clinched a home playoff game in the first round.
The Vikings won with backup Klay Fitzroy at quarterback in place of Jake Fello, who was dealing with a death in his family this week. Fitzroy, who split time with Fello last season and started at receiver this year, got the vikings off to a strong start, throwing touchdown passes to Keighton Reese and Nick Curci. The first covered 22 yards, the second 6.
Apollo-Ridge took a 14-0 lead into halftime, and Freedom cut into it in the third quarter on Cole beck’s 11-yard pass to Josh Pail.
Apollo-Ridge answered later in the quarter on Logan Harmon’s 4-yard run, giving the Vikings a 20-6 lead.
Freedom scored once more in the third quarter on Tarique Campbell’s 63-yard run and then made it 20-119 in the fourth quarter on Pail’s 7-yard run.
Apollo-Ridge put the game away with a minute to go when Harmon bowled over defenders on a 39-yard run. Fitzroy set it up with an 11-yard run on third-and-8.
The Vikings racked up 311 total yards, including 256 rushing. Harmon finished with 140 yards on 21 carries. Reese rushed nine times for 73 yards, and Fitzroy carried 10 times for 47 yards. Fello, playing receiver, had an 11-yard run on his only carry and two receptions for 27 yards. Fitzroy was 4-for-10 for 55 yards.
Apollo-Ridge held Freedom to 211 yards, forcing five sacks and getting interceptions from Brandon Kimmel and Fitzroy.
The Vikings close the regular season Friday at home against Charleroi.