Kacey Blunk for Howell County NewsKacey Blunk for Howell County NewsKacey Blunk for Howell County News


With a 48-8 victory against the Houston Tigers (7-2), the Liberty Eagles football team claimed the SCA conference championship. It is their first title since 2016.  
To start the game, Liberty drove the ball all the way down to the 5-yard line before a series of penalties proved to be too much to overcome. Houston held on fourth and goal. 
Houston started the drive in the shadow of their own goal post. Three plays later, the Tigers were punting. After a nice return, the Eagles set up shop at the Tigers' 17. Two plays later, Carter Pruett scampered in from eight yards out for the games' opening score. The Drew Ripko kick made it 7-0 Liberty with 3:26 remaining in the first quarter. 
Houston was able to muster up a first down but was forced to punt the ball back to the Eagles.
Then, the two teams' defenses held up and forced their opponents to three-and-out punts. 
After that, Pruett capped off an 87-yard drive for the Eagles, with a one yard touchdown run. After the kick, Liberty led 14-0 midway through the second quarter. 
Houston was forced to punt again on their next possession.
Liberty's Pruett continued his hot night and scored from 19-yards out this time.
The Eagle defense then came up with a big play. Drew Ripko intercepted a Tiger pass and returned it 60-yards for the pick-six. Gavin Reese tossed the two-point conversion to Kal Acklin. At halftime, Liberty held a 28-0 lead. 
Houston proved to be a prideful team and didn't go down without a fight. After receiving the second half kickoff, the Tigers' Dakota James broke away and scored on a 42-yard run. Anthony Carroll punched in the two-point try and closed the Eagle lead to 28-8. 
It didn't take long for Liberty to respond. You guessed it: Carter Pruett ran in his fourth and final score of the night with a 74-yard touchdown run. Ripko ran in the two-point conversion.
The game's final score came on a Ripko 58-yard fumble recovery for Liberty, where he weaved in and out of would-be Tiger tacklers. 
With the win, Liberty moves to 9-0 on the season. The Eagles clinched the top seed in the district tournament and received a first-round bye. They will play the winner of Ava vs. Strafford on Friday, Nov. 4 at the Nest. 
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