By TAYLOR GRAFFT
WIMBERLEY – The Liberty Hill Panthers football team went into halftime with a three-point deficit following some confusing penalty calls that allowed the Wimberley Texans to kick a field goal with no time left on the clock to end the first half.
The Panthers went on to score two second half touchdowns to take a 21-10 victory over Wimberley on Sept. 27.
The win is Liberty Hill’s fourth consecutive victory and their third road win this season.
Wimberley took the lead in the first quarter with 36 seconds remaining after junior running back Sam Drew scored a 20-yard touchdown run.
Liberty Hill answered back in the second quarter on a drive that started from their own 32-yard line. The drive ended with a 5-yard Nick Barrios touchdown run with 6:08 remaining.
There was confusion in the stands following several controversial penalty calls to end the first half.
The Texans looked to have scored a touchdown as time expired, but an illegal block called the play back and gave the Texans a free play to kick a 32-yard field goal and take a 10-7 lead into halftime.
Due to high school rules and the nature of the penalty the officials made the correct call following the illegal block. If Liberty Hill had declined the penalty, the Texans would have been awarded the touchdown, but because the Panthers accepted the penalty, the Texans were granted a free play because the quarter cannot end on that type of penalty.
In the first half the Panthers rushed for 145 yards.
Liberty Hill came out of halftime and scored on their first offensive possession. Tyler Vickers capped off the 73-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run on fourth and inches with 7:59 remaining in the third quarter.
The Texans threatened several times to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but a strong defensive effort by the Panthers ended Wimberley’s hopes.
The Panthers’ biggest defensive play came on 3rd and 12 when Wimberley quarterback Colton Cerday was sacked by senior defensive end Chris Robinson for a seven-yard loss to force the Texans to punt.
The punt went into the end zone for a touchback, putting the ball on the 20-yard line. The Panthers drove 80 yards, with several key rushes from quarterback Tyler Vickers and senior running back Cory Ferrell. The Panthers sealed the victory with a one-yard touchdown run by Cory Ferrell to put the Panthers up 21-10.
The Panthers finished the game with 356 yards rushing. Vickers led the Panthers rushing attack with 100 yards on 10 carries.
“(Tyler) Vickers is a winner,” said Head Coach Jerry Vance. “He’s one of those kids whether he plays football or basketball or baseball, he’s going to find a way to give everything he has to put you in a winning scenario and give you a chance to win. You can’t say enough about him.”
Cory Ferrell finished with 85 yards rushing and senior running back Will Fromme finished with 70 yards rushing.
The Panthers have an off-week on Oct. 4 and return to open District play against Llano on Oct. 11 at Panthers Stadium.