Phil Perry/Coal Valley News - Van High fell at Liberty (Raleigh) on Sept 6, 2019, 35-0.

VAN - The Class A Van High School football team took a tough 35-0 loss to the Raiders of Liberty (Raleigh) on Friday night.

"I know that the score doesn't show it, but we are getting better -but we just turned the ball over too much and it just killed us," said Scott coach Steve "Foot" Price. "It plagued us in the opener, too."

Van was down 21-0 at the half and could not find offensive consistency due to putting the ball on the ground and untimely interceptions to generate sustaining drives in the game.It was an early interception returned for a touchdown and a safety that helped set the tone for the Raiders. Liberty did much of their damage with a precise air attack that was set up by Bulldog turnovers, which provided the Raiders with good field position to start their drives.

"We've got to protect the ball better and if we can do that, we can move the ball," said Price. "We have to eliminate those errors and execute our offense."

Braden Howell caught two touchdown passes and had two interceptions to lead his squad in the win. Howell scored on receptions of 14 and 39 yards. Quarterback Isaac Atkins finished 5-of-9 for 113 yards. Sophomore Ryan Simms ran for a touchdown and returned an interception 28 yards for another. Liberty's defense picked off four passes and held Van to five yards of total offense. Liberty (2-0) will host PikeView next Friday at 7:30 p.m. as Van (0-2) will host Paden City.

Score by quarters

Van (0-2): 0 0 0 0 - 0

Libery (2-0): 6 15 7 7 - 35

First quarter

L: Braden Howell 14 pass from Isaac Atkins (kick failed)

Second quarter

L: Ryan Simms 28 INT return (run failed)

L: Howell 39 pass from Atkins (Logan Doddrill kick)

L: Jeff Boals safety

Third quarter

L: Simms 7 (Doddrill kick)

Fourth quarter

L: Doddrill 37 run (Doddrill kick)

Individual statistics

Rushing - L: Simms 12-100, Doddrill 7-89

Passing - L: Atkins 5-9-113-2.

Receiving - L: Howell 3-63.

Takeaways - L: Howell 2 INT, Shawn Pennington INT, Simms INT

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at pperry@hdmediallc.com or at 304-307-2402.