FREEPORT — There was never a doubt.

Not when Walton running back Jamir Campbell covered 40 yards in two plays for the Braves’ first touchdown only three minutes into the game.

Not when Jordan Dobie tried to cut up field and fumbled away the second half kickoff.

And certainly not when the third quarter came to a close with Freeport nursing a doughnut on the scoreboard.

No, these Bulldogs are tailor-made for adversity, clawing their way to a 13-7 come-from-behind victory against the Braves on Friday night in front of the home faithful to remain undefeated.

“I’m so happy for our kids, man,” Freeport coach Shaun Arntz said. “They have bought in to everything we’ve asked them to do. They have made every conditioning time, every weight room time and they’re seeing it pay off in the second half.”

When the fourth quarter opened, Freeport faced second-and-20 from Walton’s 37, trailing 7-0. No big deal.

Running back Brandon Siples skirted around the right side of his line for a 22-yard gain. Three plays later, he was in the end zone, the game tied 7-7 with 10:31 left.

Needing a stop, Freeport’s defense forced a three-and-out, Ahmaad Glenn and David Ramshur combing for a third-down sack.

What followed was a steady, collected, 11-play, 56-yard drive for the game-winning score, quarterback Kean Neale pushing the pile for a 2-yard touchdown after a 23-yard, third-down pass to Siples in double coverage put the ball on the 2.

“As soon as I saw him go up, I knew he was coming down with it,” Neal said. “He actually Mossed his little cousin.”

Friday’s win was Freeport’s second come-from-behind victory of the year.

Thus far, the Bulldogs have topped Maclay 42-36 in overtime after trailing 28-22, Holmes County 19-7 after being tied with the Blue Devils 7-7 at half and now Walton 13-7 after trailing by a touchdown at half.

“I told ’em at halftime 7-0 is nothing of a score for a lead,” Arntz said. “You’re better conditioned, you’re better trained and you want it more.

"They proved it.”

STAT OF THE NIGHT: Three

Freeport turned the ball over three times before it put any points on the board Friday, and still managed to keep its perfect season intact.

Walton linebacker Josue Ramirez came up with an first-quarter interception, and senior safety Austin Thacker recovered a fumble early in the second quarter as Freeport pushed inside the Braves’ 35.

Thacker recovered a second Freeport fumble on the second-half kickoff that set up Walton at the Bulldogs’ 22.

“That’s really been our Achilles’ heel all year,” Arntz said of the turnovers, “But what that really speaks volumes to is our mental toughness, overcoming that.

“We knew this time last year if we could ever get that mental toughness edge on these guys, they’d be unstoppable. I’m not saying we’re unstoppable, but they’re gonna compete their butts off.”

OFFENSIVE MVP: Brandon Siples, RB, Freeport

Who else could it be?

The Freeport senior has been the heartbeat of this Bulldog offense going on 13 games now.

Even when Walton managed to bottle him up, he still made plays when it mattered most, finishing his night with 161 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries with two catches for 28 yards.

For the season, Siples has 849 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns.

“It’s awesome,” Neal said of having Siples behind him. “I know if I can’t do it, I can depend on him and vice versa. It’s amazing.”

DEFENSIVE MVP: Keane Neal, QB, Freeport

Yeah, you read that right. The quarterback is the defensive MVP.

Neal played just one defensive snap Friday, the most important of the game.

Facing fourth-and-17, Walton trailed 13-7 with 2:28 left. Arntz said he knew the Braves were going to look Kazeri Freeman’s way. Freeport needed someone tall to match up with the Braves’ 6-foot-1 burner.

At roughly 6-3, Neal fit the bill.

Freeman ran a post, racing past Neal, unabated to the end zone. Quarterback Landon Rogers waited two seconds and fired.

Freeman jumped. So did Neal, reaching out with both hands, the ball barely grazing his fingertips.

Freeport’s home crowd erupted, the ball falling to the ground incomplete.

“It was a good throw,” Arntz said. “He was actually beat, but the fact that he was tall and able to get in the way helped us.”

Said Neal: “It was my first time in having to actually guard somebody. They said I was in man. I tried to pick it. That didn’t work.

“Still stopped it, though.”

QUOTABLE

Victories against county rivals deserve Gatorade baths.

About midway through his postgame pep talk, Arntz got his.

“There’s still ice cubes in my pockets,” he said. “Literally in my pockets.

“It’s crazy.”

UP NEXT

Walton will try to rebound from two straight losses against Marianna, which visits DeFuniak Springs on Friday.

Freeport, meanwhile, will host Rocky Bayou for homecoming.

“Rocky Bayou, we’re ready,” Siples said. “We’re back on Monday getting the work in. We’re trying to stay undefeated.”