Howell County News/ Gretchen Creighton PhotographyHowell County News/ Kacey BlunkHowell County News/ Kacey BlunkHowell County News/ Kacey Blunk

Eagles blast Tigers 43-14

It was an inspirational scene Friday night when Liberty played host to the Houston Tigers. Eight weeks ago, in the first game of the season, the Eagles' starting quarterback and team leader suffered a broken leg and torn ligaments that ended his season. Or...did it? On Senior Night, and coincidentally his birthday too, Tyler Watts jogged onto the field for the Eagles’ opening play. The home crowd went crazy. It would be the only play of the night for Watts, and he made it count. An eleven-yard receiver screen for a first down. 
Aside from the moral victory, the Eagles also found success in the game. Propelled by a phenomenal night from Junior Drew Ripko, Liberty out-matched Houston. Drew accounted for 246 yards of offense, two receiving touchdowns, three rushing scores and two defensive interceptions. 
Liberty received the opening kick and matched down the field where Carter Pruett punched it in from the four yard line. 
On Liberty's next possession, it was Tanner Ripko hauling in a seven-yard touchdown grab from Gavin Reese. After another Houston punt, Drew Ripko turned in possibly the best play of the season so far. Reese took the snap and rolled to his left with pressure in his face. He outran the pursuing defender just long enough to find Drew in a swallow of Houston Tigers. Drew dodged around the first would-be tackler and danced his way across the field. Then, he lowered his shoulder and bulldozed another defender before breaking around the edge for a 62-yard Eagle score.
Houston's Bailey Hurst would get the Tigers on the board with a six-yard run and extra point kick from John Kimrey. Drew would add another Eagle tally before half with a 49-yard scamper. Liberty led 24-7 at halftime. 
Liberty added three more touchdowns in the second half, including a 41-yard bomb from Pruett to Noah Jester. Hurst scored again for the Tigers from eight yards out in the fourth quarter to make the final score 43-14. 
After a bumpy start, Liberty has now pulled their record to 5-4 with a three-game winning streak. 
 Now, it counts for real. The district playoffs start this week and Liberty draws a familiar foe, the Willow Springs Bears. It's a rematch taking place at the "Nest," in Mountain View. Willow will be looking to avenge a regular season loss.
Content Paywall Trunction: 
Free

Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793
417-252-2123

Comment Here