Two teams battled Friday night, hoping to capitalize on their recent success.
Jeff Alexander’s Liberty Raiders were riding high, coming off two straight victories over PikeView and Mount View. Coach Shann Elkins’ Sherman Tide was coming off a three-game losing streak last week when they finally put one in the win column by defeating Hannan 32-0.
On a night that saw them induct Ron Allen and Brian Akers into their hall of fame, Liberty defeated Sherman by a score of 40-0. The Raiders were led by Matthew Bailey, who had 111 yards rushing and a touchdown, 10 yards receiving and a score.
Liberty got on the board early when freshman quarterback Hunter Wright connected with Matthew Bailey from 10 yards out for a touchdown. Kicker Josh Brown converted the point after to put the Raiders up 7-0 with 6:20 left in the first quarter.
Later on in the first quarter, Liberty’s Ryan Moore broke a 24-yard sprint down the sideline to set up a designed quarterback draw from Joey Lacek from one yard out to put the Raiders up 14-0.
The Raiders found the end zone again in the second quarter when senior tailback Bailey broke free for a 54-yard run down the home sideline, but Brown pushed the extra point wide left. Liberty was 20-0 over the Tide with 8 minutes left in the half.
With 4:57 left in the quarter, Sherman quarterback Tyler Stewart hit an open Justin Clark on third down. However, Clark fumbled and Liberty’s Josh Brown picked it up and ran 45 yards for the touchdown. He converted the point after to put the Raiders up 27-0.
Liberty would once again find the end zone with 10:51 remaining in the third quarter when Ryan Moore shuffled in for a touchdown to put the Raiders up 33-0. Less than two minutes later, the Raiders would score for the final time of the night, when Tre’Shaun McDowell ran back a punt 39 yards, followed up by a Josh Brown kick to make the final score 40-0 in favor of Liberty.
It’s not all positive, however, for Liberty. Late in the fourth quarter, Bailey would hit the ground on a goal line drive, and had to be helped off the field with an apparent injury.
“He hurt his ankle,” Liberty coach Jeff Alexander said post game. “Not too sure how bad it is yet. We have to evaluate him. We’ve got a big game coming up next week and would like to have him back.”
Sherman never was able to get its offense going, amounting to just 77 yards total offense for the game. Senior running back Clark was unable to capture anywhere near the 107 yards he had last week against Hannan. He was only able to pick up 8 yards on 16 carries against a tough Liberty defense.
Sherman plays at home this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. against Independence High School.
(c) 2012 The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.)
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