Knotted at 7-all with Midland Trail in the early going Friday, the Class AA Liberty Raiders eventually converted several big plays en route to a big victory over the Class A No. 3 Patriots.
After moving into a 26-7 cushion, the Raiders withstood a late surge from the hosts to post a 32-20 victory and snap a two-game losing skein. In so doing, the visitors earned their first win over the Patriots and grabbed their fourth victory in 2019 following a 1-19 showing in the previous two seasons.
“This is a huge win for Liberty football,” said Liberty head coach Mark Workman. “We had never beaten them.”
“They beat us up front,” said Midland Trail head coach Frank Isaacs. “They were more physical.
“What you saw was a lot of inexperience. We had a couple of dropped balls and a couple missed assignments.”
In addition, he said, some of his young players had trouble adjusting to Liberty’s defensive scheme.
Late in the first period, the Raiders got a scintillating 99-yard scoring jaunt from Logan Dodrill to go up 14-7 and begin to take control.
In the second frame, they continued the surge, getting a six-pointer on a Braden Howell 25-yard interception return, his ninth pick of the year.
Finally, Liberty’s Jared Baldwin reached paydirt on a 27-yard fumble recovery for six in the third period, handing his squad a 26-7 edge.
However, the Patriots still had a fighting chance on homecoming night, and they dug in.
A 9-yard TD burst by Griffin Boggs and Talon Shockey’s PAT kick trimmed the Liberty lead to 26-14, then the Patriots got a 19-yard scoring toss from Chris Vines to a wide-open Liam Gill to make it 26-20 early in the final period. The latter score was set up by a fumble recovery by Aden Isaacs on a fumble caused by a hard hit by Robert Ruffner on a Liberty ball carrier.
“We had a couple of penalties on third-down plays and let them get back into field position,” said Workman. “They played hard and they’re a great-coached team.
“I thought my kids fought hard from the get-go. The whole message this week was execution, and we executed pretty well.”
Leading by just one score, Liberty nailed down the win with a 26-yard scoring run by quarterback Issac Atkins late in the final stanza.
Atkins wound up rushing for 98 yards and passing for 72 more for the Liberty offense. Dodrill piled up 149 yards on just five carries.
Ruffner led the offense for the depleted Patriots, rushing for 152 yards on 24 attempts. Vines gained 77 yards on the ground and accounted for an equal amount through the air.
The Patriots got on the board first on a 7-yard Ruffner touchdown run, which was preceded by a long 67-yard gallop by Ruffner, during which he was dragged down by a Raider defender as he neared the goal line.
The Raiders answered, though, with a 5-yard TD from Atkins to set the stage for the big-play contributions that allowed Liberty to gain the momentum and move firmly in control of the contest.
Midland Trail is open this week before returning to action Oct. 25 at Buffalo.
Liberty hosts a big game with Independence on Friday.
Liberty 32, Midland Trail 20
L (4-2): 14 6 6 6 — 32
MT (5-2): 7 0 0 13 — 20
MT: Robert Ruffner 7 run (Talon Shockey kick), 7-0
L: Issac Atkins 5 run (Logan Dodrill kick), 7-7
L: Dodrill 99 run (Dodrill kick), 14-7
L: Braden Howell 25 interception return (kick failed), 20-7
L: Jared Baldwin 27 fumble recovery (pass failed), 26-7
MT: Griffin Boggs 9 run (Shockey kick), 26-14
MT: Liam Gill 19 pass from Chris Vines (run failed), 26-20
L: Atkins 26 run (pass failed), 32-20
RUSHING — L: Ryan Simms 11-42, Issac Atkins 16-98-2, Logan Dodrill 5-149-1, Ian Sloan 1-(-9). MT: Robert Ruffner 24-152-1, Chris Vines 11-77, Griffin Boggs 10-35-1, Liam Gill 1-0, Team 2-(-21).
PASSING — L: Issac Atkins 6-9-0-72-0, Ian Sloan 0-1-0-0-0. MT: Chris Vines 3-18-1-77-1.
RECEIVING — L: Braden Howell 1-17, Shawn Pennington 1-7, Ryan Simms 1-37, John Tabor 2-11. MT: Cody Harrell 1-26, Liam Gill 1-19-1, Aaron Sisler 1-32.
TAKEAWAYS — L: Braden Howell (INT-TD), Jared Baldwin (FR-TD), Jeffrey Bowles (FR). MT: Aden Isaacs (FR).
Also last week:
Meadow Bridge 41
Webster County 16
Dustin Adkins completed 7 of 12 passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns as Meadow Bridge turned back Webster County 41-16 Friday night.
Adkins’ scoring passes went to Hunter Claypool (2), Kyle Hinken (25) and James McClure (36). Adkins also had 70 yards rushing, including an 18-yard touchdown.
Nick White ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns, and Hinken added an 18-yard field goal and a pair of PATs.
Claypool made 14 tackles and had an interception. Ty Roles had 13 stops and Logan Hatfield 10, including three for loss.
Dawson Tharp ran for a touchdown and caught another for the Highlanders.
The Wildcats (3-3) will visit Summers County Friday.
WC (3-4): 0 0 16 0 — 16
MB (3-3): 3 13 18 7 — 41
MB: Kyle Hinken 18 FG, 5:34.
MB: Nick White 2 run (Hinken kick), 7:47.
MB: Hunter Claypool 2 pass from Dustin Adkins (run failed), 3:29.
MB: Hinken 25 pass from Adkins (kick failed). 7:20.
WC: Dawson Tharp 60 run (pass good), 7:10.
MB: Adkins 18 run (pass failed), 5:39.
MB: James McClure 36 pass from Adkins (kick failed), 2:18.
WC: Tharp 50 pass from Kadin Wright (pass good), :55.8.
MB: White 8 run (Hinken kick), 7:11.
RUSHING — MB: White 38-181, Adkins 8-70, Landon James-Mullins 3-2, Seaton Mullins 1-4, Conner Mullins 5-32.
PASSING — MB: Adkins 7-12-0-130.
RECEIVING — MB: Rian Cooper 3-52, Hinken 2-40, Claypool 1-2, McClure 1-36.
TAKEAWAYS — MB: Cooper (INT), Claypool (FR), Caidan Connor (FR).
Greenbrier East 42
Oak Hill 7
Class AAA No. 11 Greenbrier East held Oak Hill to 149 yards of total offense and cruised to a 42-7 win Friday night.
Marion Lawson and Kyle King both ran for 93 yards for the Spartans. King scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and threw for another, and Lawson scored on an 18-yard run.
Logan Frantz’s 1-yard TD run gave Oak Hill a 7-0 lead before East (4-2) reeled off the next 42 points.
Scott Wilshire had a fumble recovery for Oak Hill.
The Spartans will visit Ripley Friday, while the Red Devils (2-5) will play at Class AA No. 12 Shady Spring.
OH (2-5): 7 0 0 0 — 7
GE (3-3): 7 5 0 0 — 42
OH: Logan Frantz 1 run (Ethan Vargo-Thomas kick), 9:11.
GE: Quinten Wilson 5 run (Owen Vogelsong kick), 5:37.
GE: Kyle King 56 run (Vogelsong kick), 9:38.
GE: Christian McNeely 20 pass from King (Vogelsong kick), 9:10.
GE: Marion Lawson 18 run (Vogelsong kick), 4:26.
GE: King 11 run (Vogelsong kick), 2:06.
GE: Brandon Honaker 53 INT (Vogelsong kick), :15.
RUSHING — OH: Te-amo Shelton 15-34, Jarrett McFall 3-19, Leonard Farrow 1-(-1), Logan Frantz 1-1, Eli Sedlock 1-(-3), Rodell Allen 1-(-4); GE: King 8-93, Chris Hulmes 1-15, Lawson 11-93, Honaker 3-17, Kaden Huffman 3-4, Wilson 7-69, Peyton Pack 1-3.
PASSING — OH: Cade Maynor 11-16-3-120; GE: King 3-5-0-42.
RECEIVING — OH: Hall 5-60, Farrow 4-64, Shelton 1-(-4). GE: Nate Baker 1-4, Honaker 1-18, McNeely 1-20.