Free State football holds off Gardner Edgerton for 21-13 home win

Free State defenders Brian Lane (90) and Grant Gregory bring down Gardner Edgerton runner Carter Dewey during the first quarter on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 at Free State High School. (Photo by Nick Krug/Special to the Journal-World)

The Free State High football team got its third win of the season in a hard-fought battle with Gardner Edgerton on Friday night, beating the Trailblazers, 21-13.

Led by the run game of senior Jet Dineen, the Firebirds (3-1) racked up 330 yards, compared to 312 yards by the Trailblazers (0-4).

The Firebirds’ defense held Gardner Edgerton to just three second-half points.

“That’s the fewest points we have given up all year,” said head coach Kevin Stewart. “We needed every stop we got. I thought our defense played really well.”

The first half got off to a slow start for both teams, with each punting on its first series and having trouble moving the ball. However, as the first quarter came to a close, Gardner Edgerton’s ground game ignited its offense.

Senior Carter Dewey led the charge offensively throughout the first half. On the first scoring drive of the game, Dewey ran it in from 11 yards out to give the Trailblazers an early 7-0 lead.

It was was short-lived, however, as Dineen took over on the following series for the Firebirds. Dineen faked out the entire GEHS defense and ran in nearly untouched from 34 yards out to tie the game at seven late in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Dewey took over again for the Trailblazers, running right through the Firebirds’ defensive line. He rushed 19 times for 88 yards in the first half.

After the Firebirds recovered a Trailblazer fumble on fourth down, Dineen took over once again, pulling off an huge run from 67 yards out. Dineen actually ran a lot more than 67 yards on the carry. He first ran right across the field on what was third and 19 at Free State’s own 33. By breaking multiple tackles and using his speed to dodge defenders, Dineen’s run wowed the FSHS fans.

“We had a design play there and that was actually just a Q-draw,” Stewart said. “He made a heck of a play cutting across the field and using his power to get into the end zone.”

Gardner Edgerton got a late 28-yard field goal by senior Jake McClure to cap off the scoring at 14-10 heading into the second half.

The third quarter for both teams was fast-moving and low-scoring, with the Trailblazers only getting one first down in the third.

Late in the third quarter, Free State marched down the field, led by Dineen and senior Dash Cleveland running the ball. The drive was capped off by a 3-yard touchdown run by Cleveland.

Gardner Edgerton got its second field goal of the night with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. But in the end the Free State defense came up clutch, giving the Firebirds their third win on the season.

Led by junior linebacker Colton Berger, the Free State defense held Gardner-Edgerton on its attempt to deliver a game-tying drive. The Firebirds stopped McClure on a late fourth down run.

“I thought the defense made some big plays tonight and they got to get off the field,” Stewart said. “They held them to 13 so that gave us a chance to win.”


Free State 21, Gardner Edgerton 13


First downs 12 | 12

Rushes-yards 36-232 | 42-243

Passing yards 98 | 69

Total offense 330 | 312

Fumbles-lost 1-1 | 1-1

Interceptions 0 | 0

Penalties-yards 3-16 | 4-27

Score by quarters

Gardner Edgerton 7 3 0 3 — 13

Free State 7 7 0 7 — 21

Individual statistics


GE: Carter Dewey 25-101; Jake McClure 9-81; Lucas Anderson 6-60; Kyle Oatman 1-0; Tyler Butash 1-1

FS: Jet Dineen 16-148; Dash Cleveland 18-83; Tay Ware 2-1


GE: Jake McClure 6-9-69

FS: 6-12-98


GE: Randy Singleton 5-36; Lucas Anderson 1-33

FS: Jordan Brown 3-72; Dash Cleveland 1-16; Jake Patchen 1-8; Jerred Willits 1-2;


First quarter:

3:41 – Carter Dewey 11 yard run. Jake McClure kick good (GE 7 FS 0)

1:44 – Jet Dineen 34 yard run. Adam Coup kick good. (GE 7 FS 7)

Second quarter:

5:58 – Jet Dineen 67 yard run. Coup kick good. (FS 14 GE 7)

0:01.9 – McClure 28 yard field goal. (FS 14 GE 10)

Fourth quarter:

10:40 – Dash Cleveland three yard run. Coup kick good. (FS 21 GE 10)

8:00 – McClure 33 yard field goal. (FS 21 GE 13)


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.