Liberty Eagles Clench District Championship
Wed, 11/18/2020 - 1:24pm admin
Michael L. Plum, sports correspondent
In week two of the regular season, Liberty lost to Fair Grove 58-38. But, on an eight-game winning streak, the Eagles took on Fair Grove for the district title.
The Eagles were underestimated by many this season. Head Coach Brock Kenaga said, "We just concentrate on the next game. We're looking for the next win."
With only four minutes into the first quarter Liberty was up 14-0. After five consecutive first downs, Tyler Watts #10 powered into the endzone for the score.
A Fair Grove fumble was recovered by Liberty's Kaden Daniels #78 at the Fair Grove twenty-five-yard line. Tyler Watts scored again with Zeb Cornman with the two-point conversion.
Devon Shoup #74 was dominant on the defensive line, with a sack on the next set of downs for Fair Grove resulting in a punt to Liberty.
Fair Grove's Kade Gallion #2 scored at the eight minute mark in the second quarter to put six points up. On Liberty's next possession, Noah Jester #8 teamed up with Brody Rutledge #55 on a hook-and-ladder to advance the ball into Fair Grove territory. At 2:35, Carter Pruett #5 took the ball in for a TD to increase the score to 20-6.
With time running out in the second quarter, Fair Grove's Hayden Carver scored a TD which took the score to 20-12. On the ensuing kickoff with only twenty-two seconds remaining, Liberty's Zeb Cornman #33 took the ball 63 yards to paydirt and extended Liberty's lead to 28-12 with only twelve seconds until halftime.
At the start of the second half, Kaden Gallion #2 for Fair Grove had a forty-nine-yard scramble for a TD. Fair Grove drew within eight points at 28-20, but Liberty shut down Grove's offense and dominated Grove's defense for the remainder of the game.
After being out for most of the season due to a hip injury, Jentry Acklin #17 made a reception and took it in for the score. Liberty was up after a two-point conversion by Tanner Ripko #6, 36-20.
Zeb Cornman #33 had an interception midway through the fourth to stop Grove's drive. Liberty's final score came from Carter Pruett #5 with a two-yard TD and two-point conversion by Tanner Ripko #6.
After the game, Braden Gastineau had a few words to say, "It feels good to come back after losing to Fair Grove early in the season. We were pretty young and still learning what we were doing, but now we have it all figured out. Now we're just moving on one week at a time. It's not just me in the trenches on offense and defense. We have Devon Shoup, Kaden Daniels, Lucas Barnes, Tate Carl, Josh Baldwin. We all just do our thing and practice every week. Next week we're looking to go 11-2."
Zeb Cornman had two INTs and was impressive on both sides of the ball.
"It feels really good to come back and start the tradition of winning a district championship for Liberty," said Cornman.
Head Coach Kenaga said, "We're looking for our next win. We're 10-2 now, and we're looking for 11-2. We try to stay humble. We feel really good, and the kids have grown so much and it's like we aren't watching the same team we started the year with. Zeb Cornman is a very special player and I was lucky enough to coach his brother."
The Eagles will take on the Lamar Tigers Saturday November 21 at The Eagles Nest in Mountain View at 1:00 p.m.