Howell County News/ Kacey BlunkHowell County News/ Kacey BlunkHowell County News/ Kacey Blunk

Eagles fall to Blackhawks

After an opening week loss to the Strafford Indians, Liberty football hoped some home cooking would do the trick. Liberty welcomed the Blackhawks from Adrian to the "Nest," for their home opener. Adrian promised to be a tough opponent, however, as they were last year's Class 1 State runner-up.
Once again, Liberty was able to jump out to an early lead, only to see it slip away in the second half. By the final buzzer, the Blackhawks left town with a 46-28 victory.
Things started off hairy for the Eagles right away. On their first offensive play, the handoff was bobbled, and Adrian jumped on the loose ball for a turnover. Liberty's defense, backed up in their own red zone, answered the call by forcing a turnover on downs. 
The scoring didn't start until Liberty's third possession. The touchdown came when Eagle's quarterback Carter Pruett rolled to his right and dropped an over-the-shoulder pass into the arms of Adrien Pendegraft. 
Moments later, Liberty took advantage of an Adrian fumble. The Eagles took possession at their opponents’ 21-yard line. From there, Pruett scampered in for the score. The two-point conversion pass from Pruett to Gavin Reese made it 14-0 Eagles. 
Adrian would then score the next 32 points in the contest to take a commanding lead in the second half. Adrian's bruiser of a back, Hunter Bailey, ran through and around the Liberty defense. He scored twice and Blackhawk's receiver Mason Rusow caught two touchdown passes, one from Colton Miller and another from Jackson Deal. 
It was late in the third quarter when Liberty scored next. A 29-yard reception by Pendegraft from Pruett would pull the Eagles within 12, 20-32. 
But Adrian kept coming. This time, Bailey caught a Deal pass and took it 50 yards to paydirt. 
Pendegraft would add another touchdown reception, this one from 65 yards, to make his total of three for the night. Once again, Liberty pulled within two scores, 28-40. 
Twice, Liberty intercepted Adrian and looked to close the gap. The first, by Eagle freshman Jasper Melby. The second, by junior Chris Sharr. No points came off the turnovers, however, and Adrian's Bailey put a stamp on the night with another touchdown run to end the game. 
This Friday, Liberty looks for their first win of the season. They head to Thayer to take on the 1-1 Bobcats.
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