Liberty Hill improves to 2-0 at home
By Joseph Garcia
After missing last week’s game against China Spring, Liberty Hill senior fullback Brandan Corn not only returned to form, but seemed to have a bounce in his step.
With the Panthers up 21-20 against the Rockdale Tigers with 2:09 left in the game, the offense had to convert a first down to retain possession. On fourth down with about a yard to go, both teams had goal line personnel on the field and as he had done all night, Corn busted through the line and converted the fourth down.
Three plays later, on 3-and-1, Corn took the handoff from 20 yards out and into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night giving the Panthers a 27-20 lead which they would not relinquish.
Liberty Hill (2-2) had to defend the Tigers one final time. And as was the case in the last home game against Cuero, senior safety Cody Turner intercepted a pass to seal the Panthers’ 27-20 victory over Rockdale.
The Rockdale Tigers tested the Panthers’ secondary all night and in the first half scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass caught by wide receiver Cody Skubal. Skubal scored the Tigers’ second touchdown as well, this one from 27 yards out to make the score 13-0 with 11:29 left in the first half.
Rockdale junior quarterback Ethan Brinkley finished the first half with 207 passing yards with three touchdowns, completing 15 of 27 attempts.
For the second week in a row the Liberty Hill Panthers faced a 13-0 deficit, and for the second week in a row, they responded with the resiliency the team has shown over the first three games.
After a pair of first downs, the Panthers’ offense marched down to the Rockdale 28-yard line. That is when senior Brandan Corn took the handoff, was hit by multiple Tiger defenders and kept his balance as he rolled over bodies on his way to his first touchdown of the season.
Corn finished the first half of play with 101 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
The touchdown made the score 13-7 with 8:59 left in the first half.
After the Corn touchdown, both teams quickly traded long scores.
First, Rockdale’s Skubal took advantage of blown coverage in the Panthers’ secondary for a 70-yard touchdown – his third of the half.
,/div> Next it was Liberty Hill’s turn as junior Jadon Boatwright took the ensuing kickoff 82 yards into the end zone pulling the Panthers within a touchdown (20-14) with 7:43 left in the first half.
Once again the Liberty Hill defense was exceptional in the second half not allowing a touchdown and giving the offense an opportunity to claw back into the game.
The 27 points scored by the Panthers was the most all season in a game and was enough to hold the Tigers’ spread offense for the win.
Next up for the Liberty Hill Panthers is a date at home against Mexia Friday, Sept. 23.
For full story with stats and quotes, see the Sept. 22 edition of The Independent.