Liberty rolls by WHS
Liberty Quarterback Dallas Holmes totaled four touchdowns in the Hurricanes 52-27 victory over Whitehall. The game was filled with mistakes and big plays, though, from the start it was apparent whose night this was at BASD Stadium.
“Dallas has been great as a senior leader this year,” said head coach John Truby. “Our season has not gone the way that we were hoping, and thanks to guys like Dallas and other seniors they have kept us working hard.”
At the 8:00 mark in the first quarter, Liberty was able to capitalize on a fumble by Whitehall. Kendrick Wesley scooped up the ball at the Zephyr 3-yard line and took it in for the score.
This was followed by a nice drive by Whitehall, capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run by junior tailback Angelo Daddona. This tied the game at 7-7.
Then, the firework show began.
Liberty’s Holmes was able to score on a 7-yard scamper on the next drive. On the subsequent series, Hurricanes senior corner back Tahjir McKenzie intercepted a pass off Whitehall quarterback Anthony Nanoah and ran it back 29 yards for the Liberty touchdown. McKenzie’s interception return quickly put the Hurricanes up 21-7.
The scoring didn’t stop there.
To start the second quarter, Liberty had possession at its own 44-yard line. That’s when Holmes ran a QB draw up the middle, blowing by two Zephyr defenders, and raced into the end zone for a 56-yard touchdown run. After another quick change of possession by Whitehall, junior running back Jaiden Canada got the Hurricanes down into the Zephyr red zone. Holmes, then, got his third rushing touchdown of the night on a 12-yard run to cap the drive to make it 35-7.
“Jaiden is a quiet leader that has been working really hard,” said Truby. “I think that Jaiden is going to have a big year next year on both sides of the football.”
Things then went from bad to worse for the Zephyrs.
After a few failed zone runs and an unsuccessful screen pass, Whitehall tried to run a trick play on fourth down to maybe turn the tide. Unfortunately, the double reverse was botched, as the ball ricocheted too hard off a Zephyr receiver and a Liberty defender was able to pounce on the fumble. This gave Liberty possession in the Whitehall red zone once again.
It didn’t take long for Liberty to capitalize. Junior Kareem Morrison ran the ball in from 19 yards out to put the Hurricanes up 42-7 with 5:35 left in the second quarter. Liberty was able to gain possession once more before the end of the half. After another big run by Canada, Holmes connected on a 5-yard touchdown pass to Wesley, which pushed the lead to 49-7.
Whitehall finally answered with a 68-yard catch and score by Marcus Hamscher from Nanoah with 31 seconds remaining the first half. Hamscher was able to sneak past the secondary and Nanoah heaved it deep down field for the long score. The score at halftime: 49-13.
The second half was spent mostly in mercy time. Liberty opened the half with possession of the ball. They drove down on their first series and kicked a short field goal to put the score at 52-13.
A big play by Whitehall’s Allen Negrete sparked some life in the Zephyr crowd, but the Whitehall offense was stuffed at the goal line and that little bit of life went away. Liberty started substituting their backups in at this point.
With 6:00 left in the fourth quarter, Whitehall senior running back Ali Barkley was able to break away for a 91-yard touchdown run. The big back finally found a crease and showcased quite a bit of speed, outrunning the entire Liberty defense, to get the score to 52-20.
In the ailing moments of the game, Whitehall’s Daddona scored his second touchdown of the night on a 3-yard run. This pushed the final score to 52-27.
“Offensively, we finally got some stuff done on that side of the ball,” said head coach John Truby. “The OL played very well and I was happy to see them getting the job done.
“Defensively we continued to be very strong. We got to play some younger guys on that side of the ball and building some experience with depth.”