Eagles batter Bobcats for first win
Tue, 09/12/2023 - 1:41pm admin
Andrew Snider, sports correspondent
After a couple tough losses to begin their season, Liberty and new head coach Jansen Acklin came out ready to roll against the Thayer Bobcats. Explosive plays all around was the theme of the night on their way to a 36-16 victory over their familiar opponent.
Liberty's Gavin Reese got the scoring started when he snagged a 12-yard pass from quarterback Carter Pruett on the games' opening drive. Pruett ran in the two-point conversion.
Moments later, Reese made another splash play by picking off a Bobcat pass at mid-field. With just over six minutes to play in the first quarter, Pruett notched his first touchdown of the night with a five-yard scamper. Pruett found Reese again, this time for the conversion and a 16-0 lead.
The Eagles defense kept the momentum rolling during the Bobcats next possession. Brody Rutledge stopped a Thayer run in the backfield on third down. On fourth-and-nine at the Eagle 40 yard-line, Wyatt Honeycutt stuffed a Bobcat screen pass and secured the turnover-on-downs.
It wasn't until the 2:45 mark in the second quarter, when scoring picked up again. Pruett bulldozed his way into the end zone on a three-yard run. On the two-point conversion, Eli Moore grabbed a Pruett pass to put the Eagles ahead 24-0.
The Eagle's big first half continued next when Reese made a one-handed interception on a tipped pass at mid-field. With just over a minute remaining in the half, Pruett hit Reese for a 17-yard scoring strike and the Eagles held a comfortable 30-0 lead at the break.
After a Bobcat punt, Pruett found Moore on a beautiful play. The Eagle's quarterback rolled to his left and hit Moore perfectly in stride across the middle for a 53-yard catch-and-score.
The Bobcats did not go down without a fight, however. Thayer quarterback Devin Harrington found Xavier Gonzales for a 10-yard touchdown pass. The Mark Spencer conversion run made it 36-8.
Spencer would add a 15-yard scoring run with just over three minutes left in the game. Harrington hit Colt Gonzales for the two-points.
From there, Liberty was able to salt away the clock and notched their first victory of the season.
A key conference match-up takes place this week when the Eagles welcome the Class 3 state-ranked Ava Bears.