GAME NIGHT PREVIEW: Liberty Hill vs Gatesville


Liberty Hill (2-2, 6-3) vs. Gatesville (4-0, 9-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, Liberty Hill Panther Stadium

Gatesville High School

Enrollment: 826

Coach: Kyle Cooper

Mascot: Hornet

Colors: Black/Gold

League: 8-3A

The Liberty Hill Panthers will play their final game at Panther Stadium Friday needing a win over undefeated Gatesville to have a shot at making the playoffs.

In addition to defeating Gatesville, the Panthers must hope Coach Jimmy Randolph and Lampasas can do them a solid and defeat Burnet. That will be the key. Even if Liberty Hill dominates the Hornets in a blowout win, Burnet must still lose for the Panthers to get in the postseason.

Needless to say, the Panthers will have their hands full in trying to do something no other high school team in Texas has done this season – handing Gatesville a loss.

“Our whole emphasis is winning the next game and we don’t care where we are,” said Liberty Hill Coach Jerry Vance. “We have to take care of that business first. There will be plenty of times to walk out on that field and (reminisce).”

Of course where Liberty Hill will be is Panther Stadium, for the final time. And while Coach Vance will have his team focused for the final game there, he is looking forward to the future of Liberty Hill’s next stadium.

“Well it’s the last game at this Panther Stadium and that paves the way for a new first game at the new Panther Stadium,” Vance said. “It’s like everything else in life; you transition to the next phase.”

The Panthers hope that next phase is delayed and will do everything they can against Gatesville and its star quarterback Cole Edmiston.

Last week in a 35-14 win over Brownwood, Edmiston passed for 181 yards and two touchdowns and added another score on the ground. He leads the Hornets into Panther Stadium as one of the most highly touted quarterbacks Liberty Hill has faced in some time.

“(Cole Edmiston) is as good a quarterback as we’ve seen in three or four years,” Vance acknowledged. “He’s a very talented young man and obviously the heart and soul of that team. When they have to have something he’s not afraid to shoulder the responsibility and take care of that. He’s a special player. We’ll play him and see what happens.”

While it may be a tall order, the Panthers will play with nothing to lose and with an us-against-the-world mentality, which is something that can be dangerous for an opposing team. The Hornets will get Liberty Hill’s best shot with the home crowd behind them.

After the win last week against Lampasas, Coach Vance told his team he would not have it any other way.

“You might as well play the best there is,” he said. “We are going to roll kids in and roll kids out. I told the kids nobody in the state of Texas except us is going to believe we can beat them. What do we got to lose.”