Liberty Panthers lose to Huffman-Hargraves, 34-7

By Neal Thornton, guest writer

The Liberty Panthers fell victim to the Huffman-Hargraves Falcon’s high-octane offense by a final score of 34-7.  The trio of senior quarterback Justin Shively and  wide receivers Garrett Holbrooks and Luke Thomas proved too much for the young Panther squad.

Huffman totaled 366 yards on 38 plays. QB Shively was 13 for 23 passing for 303 yards and two touchdowns.  Also, he threw no interceptions on the night.  The Falcons ran the ball 15 times for 61 yards.  The leading rusher for Huffman-Hargraves was A.J. San Miguel who had 11 carries for 29 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Their leading receiver was Senior Garrett Holbrooks who had four catches for 111 yards.  Also, Sophomore Luke Thomas caught three balls for 54 yards and two touchdowns.  The Falcons did a good job of protecting the football as they never fumbled.  They were penalized three times for 25 yards.

The Panthers managed 255 yards of offense on 52 plays.  They ran the ball 51 times, accounting for all the offensive yardage.  Quarterback Austin Walker threw one pass that was completed, but the receiver was stopped for no gain. 

The leading Panther runner was newcomer Terrick Peterson.  He rushed 19 times for 115 yards and scored Liberty’s only touchdown.  Sophomore Johnny Harris-Hines also had 19 carries for 81 yards.  Liberty was penalized twice for 20 yards.  Unfortunately, the Panthers fumbled twice and lost them both.  

Huffman took the opening kick-off and wasted no time on the first scoring drive.  They marched 62 yards in six plays.  Senior running back A.J. San Miguel capped the drive with a 27-yard run up the middle at the 9:32 mark of the first quarter.  The PAT from Jackson Landry was no good and the Falcons had a 6-0 lead. 

Liberty took the ball and put together a time-consuming drive of 15 plays only to be stopped at the Falcon 15 where they turned the ball over on downs.  The teams swapped possessions twice more, giving the ball up on downs.  Huffman got the ball on their third possession of the night and scored on a six-play, 53-yard drive.  QB Shively threw a 7-yard scoring strike to Luke Thomas.  The PAT from Landry was good and the Falcons took a 13-0 lead into the dressing room. 

Liberty took the opening kickoff but gave the ball right back to Huffman when they fumbled on the fourth play of their drive.  Huffman-Hargraves took the ball 59 yards in eight plays.  San Miguel went over from the 1-yard line with 7:18 left in the 3rd quarter.  Landry’s PAT was good and Huffman was in command of a 20-0 lead. 

Liberty’s next possession was stopped when they fumbled the ball to Huffman on the Falcon 19.  Huffman drove the 81 yards in 12 plays, scoring on Thomas’ second touchdown reception of the night.  The PAT was again good and Huffman led by a score of 27-0 with 9:28 left in the fourth quarter.  The Falcons then stopped the Panthers’ next possession, forcing a punt. 

They then scored on their second play on a 60-yard pass play from Justin Shively to Junior Justin McNeal.  Another PAT put the score at 34-0 Huffman at the 5:43 mark of the fourth.  Liberty’s only score came with 1:16 left on the clock.  Liberty’s Terrick Peterson capped an eight-play, 72-yard drive by banging up the middle for a 12-yard touchdown.  Kicker Eric Espinosa drilled the PAT and the score stood at 34-7, Huffman-Hargraves with 1:16 left on the clock. The Falcons took the ball and opted for the victory formation, running out the clock and leaving the final at 34-7, Huffman.  

Next week the Liberty Panthers will host the Cleveland Indians in Memorial Stadium.  Kick-off time is 7:30 p.m.

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