Panthers to battle Trojans in Sequin


Liberty Hill running back Freddie White (#15) takes off on the ground during Friday night’s playoff game at Panther Stadium. White finished with 70 yards on nine carries against Canyon Lake. (Alex Rubio Photo)


In their first Saturday game of the season, Liberty Hill will go to war with the Trojans to keep their playoff run alive. The Panthers will play Beeville Jones at 2 p.m. Saturday.

For a coach that has preached consistency time and time again, Liberty Hill Head Coach Jerry Vance doesn’t see much difference in playing a Saturday afternoon game, other than the light source.

“The only difference is the sun’s in the sky, instead of the lights,” Vance said. “It is different, though. I hope they’re ready for it. I don’t know when the 4A state championship is, but when we were playing for the state championship, we were playing at 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 in the afternoon. I think it’s something that you have to experience.”

Although a Saturday afternoon game gives the Panthers an extra day to practice, Coach Vance is trying to keep their schedule as consistent as he possibly can. Their approach is to treat Saturday’s game like a Friday night, and simply move everything back a day, using Monday for only a light workout and some film.

“What we did is we just backed everything up,” Vance said regarding the Panthers’ practice schedule this week. “Yesterday (Monday), we had a light workout, showed some film, did some things a little bit different, but today (Tuesday) is our Monday. Tomorrow will be our Tuesday, then our Wednesday, and our Thursday will be Friday. We’re still going to keep that consistency with the workouts and all.”

The Panthers don’t have any experience playing against Jones, but Coach Vance knows what they’re capable of from his time coaching at Gregory-Portland, explaining that they run a spread offense similar to what a lot of teams have run against the Panthers throughout the season.

“I have some experience when I was down on the coast when I was coaching at Portland,” Vance said.

“They’re a spread team. Coach Bomar has been around for a long time. I don’t know if he’s been around as long as I have, but he’s been around in Oklahoma, and up in the metroplex. He knows what he’s doing. His kids are well coached. Big quarterback throws the ball well and runs very fast. They have a defense that’s not quite as large as their offense, but they’re really fast. They’re really quick kids that rally to the ball.”

The Trojans’ starting quarterback, junior Justin Gomez, is averaging 355 passing yards per game this season. He’s also thrown for 44 touchdowns and 13 interceptions with a 61 percent completion rate, giving him an impressive 121.3 quarterback rating on the season.

Gomez’ favorite target, by far, has been senior receiver Waydale Jones. Jones has 103 receptions and more than 1,800 receiving yards this season, and has caught 27 of Gomez’ 44 touchdown passes. He’s averaging more than 180 receiving yards per game.

The Panthers will play the Trojans in their second playoff game on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Matador Stadium in Seguin. Matador Stadium is located at 1350 E. Cedar Street, just off of Highway 123.