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Matt Eberhart's rushing carries Baldwin to victory

Baldwin running back Matthew Eberhart gets ready to

Baldwin running back Matthew Eberhart gets ready to return a punt during the first quarter of a Nassau I varsity football game against Freeport on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Credit: James Escher

Back in 1924, folks wore ties and fedoras to football games -- as depicted in the photos Baldwin coach Steve Carroll showed his team before yesterday's game, recounting the history of "Freeport vs. Baldwin," which dates to that year.

Back then, the hottest car on the market was a Chevrolet Superior, retailing for a cool $500. And the most popular song was, coincidentally, Fred Waring's "Memory Lane."

A whole lot has changed since then, but not this: The satisfaction the Bruins take in beating Freeport.

"This rivalry is huge," Matt Eberhart said. "We're trying to add our story to the legacy."

Eberhart etched in a few sentences, running for 193 yards and a score as Baldwin topped Freeport, 41-13, in Nassau I.

The speedster amassed that total on nine carries, ripping runs of 64 and 55 yards. "If you can keep the edge clean for two seconds," right tackle Paul Nosworthy said, "Matt's gone!"

Nick DeLuca and John Debique each added two touchdowns for the Bruins (6-0), who topped the Red Devils for the first time since 2011.

"We put up a slideshow with old pictures from the games," Carroll said. "I wanted to impart on the kids the importance and historical significance."

The past aside, Baldwin is presently the only undefeated team in its conference -- with victories over the second- and third-place teams -- which bodes well for its future.

"Freeport is good, so we took it as an opportunity to show we're no fluke," middle linebacker Kadeem Langhorne said. "We proved we're one of the best teams around."

The proof was in the pounding. John Debique pushed the pile into the end zone for a 4-yard score, giving Baldwin a 14-7 lead with 8:40 left in the second. He burrowed in from a yard out five minutes later.

Tom York completed 7 of 10 passes for 103 yards, and tight end Jarred Myles had two receptions for 60 yards. Chris Debique added 73 rushing yards.

Freeport (4-2) had life when Rashad Tucker hit Corey Spivey on a corner route, which the receiver turned into a 79-yard touchdown, cutting the lead to 20-13. But Jared Warner returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a score with 3:06 left in the second.

The Bruins were glad to see their opponent had as much difficulty corralling Warner as they did last week. In practice, the 5-9 jitterbug imitated Freeport's dynamic backfield tandem of Tucker and D'Monte Woody. It worked as Baldwin's defense contained them both. "Having to chase Jared all week got us prepared," said Nosworthy, who had a sack at defensive tackle.

Eberhart broke loose on a toss left for a 64-yard TD scamper in the third, and DeLuca (87 yards) dove in for a 12-yard score in the fourth. "We're here now," Eberhart said of his team, which won three games last season. "We're definitely for real."

Hats off to them. Even if it's not a fedora.

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