Liberty Eagles break the Ava Bears SCA Winning Streak 26-18
Wed, 09/23/2020 - 11:55am admin
Michael L. Plum, sports correspondent
After the devastating loss last week to the Thayer Bobcats (27-0), the Liberty Eagles were ready to prove themselves a worthy adversary. Friday night, they hit the gridiron head-to-head against the Ava Bears, a team who is no stranger to winning. The Liberty Eagles shattered the Ava Bears 28-game SCA winning streak.
Clear skies and 62 degrees is perfect football weather. The Eagles were led to victory by two quarterbacks: 5'9" 180-pound junior Tyler Watts and 5'10" 175-pound freshman, Carter Pruett. With the aid of an outstanding offensive line, both young men were able to dominate in and outside of the pocket.
Pruett (no. 5) displayed an extraordinary level of play seldom seen in a freshman athlete. He proved to be an all around player. Passing, receiving, running, special teams and even defensively, he came up with an interception with 38 seconds left on the clock to prevent the Bears from scoring in the first half.
The Eagles hit the locker room with an 18-0 lead. During the third quarter the Bears scored two touchdowns and put 12 points on the scoreboard. The Eagles responded by adding one touchdown and a two-point conversion in the third to maintain their lead.
During the fourth, the Eagles failed to put any points up but their defense and clock management prevented a fourth quarter comeback from the Bears.
At the two minute mark, the Eagles had the pigskin and were marching down the field. However at 1:44, Liberty fumbled the ball, and the Bears recovered it. With plenty of time and the victory still within reach, the Bears started moving the ball until Zeb Cornman (no. 33) had what appeared to be a pick six. That score was negated, however, due to a penalty for blocking in the back. On the final series, Liberty needed a first down to keep the ball and run out the clock. It was third and sixteen with Tyler Watts at the helm. The defense was anxious for a turnover, and Watts puts the ball into the outstretched hands of a layed-out Noah Jester (no. 8).
"We just talked a little bit about accountability and effort, and taking away their bread and butter. Making them do something they aren't comfortable with. Making them pitch the ball and making them pass the ball and taking the fullback away from them," commented first-year head coach Brock Kenega on how he prepared his players for this game after last week’s loss to Thayer.
Next week, the Eagles will face the Willow Springs Bears at Palenske Field at 7:00 p.m.