Liberty Hill is now sitting alone at the top of the District 8-AAA standings after traveling to Gordon Wood Stadium in Brownwood Oct. 18 and coming out with a 31-20 victory over the Lions.
Place kicker Lucas Rizzotto’s 24-yard field goal with 5:33 remaining in the first quarter put the Panthers up 3-0.
Two minutes later, quarterback Tyler Vickers broke free for a 43-yard touchdown run to increase the Panthers’ lead to 10-0 with 3:08 remaining.
Brownwood answered with a touchdown of their own to start the second quarter. Quarterback Chris Keesee hit freshman wide receiver Connor Howard on a 20-yard touchdown pass with 10:35 remaining in the half to cut the lead to 10-7.
Brownwood (3-4, 1-1 District) would take the lead with 1:05 left in the first half after Keesee and Howard connected again on a 17-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-10.
The Panthers answered right back and took momentum into halftime when fullback Nick Barrios broke free down the sideline and scored a 77-yard touchdown with 12 seconds remaining.
The Panthers went into halftime with a 17-14 lead after rushing for 212 yards in the first half.
Liberty Hill (6-1, 2-0 District) opened the scoring again to start the half when senior running back Will Fromme punched it in from three yards out on a drive that started on their own 34-yard line. The Panthers increased their lead to 24-14 after the touchdown with 7:33 remaining in the third quarter.
Fromme scored his second touchdown of the night on a 41-yard run with 7:18 remaining in the game to put the Panthers up 31-14. The Lions were flagged for offsides on the touchdown run, but the penalty was declined.
Brownwood running back Braxton Kilgo cut the lead to 31-20 on a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:36 remaining in the game.
That would prove to be the final score as the Panthers’ defense, which had been stellar all game, prevented the Lions from a miracle comeback.
“This is a very talented Brownwood team,” said Head Coach Jerry Vance. “It was just a matter of trying to stop them and not go nuts. We try to be simple and pretty basic. As talented as they are, you’ve got to hold your breath every time they snap the ball.”