Late score lifts Leopards over Lakeview
LIBERTY – A 14-yard touchdown run by Dra Rushton with 5:15 remaining in the game put Liberty back in front to stay and Rushton’s two-point conversion set the final score in the Leopards’ 28-21 win Friday night over Lakeview.
The play of Liberty’s offensive line was vital in that final quarter, giving Rushton, the quarterback and the rest of the backs room to move.
“They finally grew up. They finally weren’t little juniors that were just running through the motions,” Liberty coach Chet Allen said about his offensive linemen. “They had to become young men and fight for what they wanted. They did that and that got the job done.”
“They wanted to fight for their teammates and that is exactly what they did.”
Lakeview (1-1) jumped in front in the game, opening a 14-0 halftime lead. Running back Tony Crish scored from 5 yards out in the first quarter after accounting for 35 of his team’s 43 yards on the drive.
Liberty (1-1) then put together a long drive, but it ended on a fumble recovered by the Bulldogs.
Midway through the second quarter, Crish returned a Liberty punt 72 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs their halftime advantage.
Rushton went 90 yards for a touchdown for Liberty early in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 14-6.
Once Liberty was able to gain possession again, they scored again. This time it was Capone Haywood running the ball into the end zone from 2 yards out. Rushton than scored a two-point conversion to even the score at 14.
“We had one (a turnover) and we capitalized on their turnovers. They could have capitalized more on our turnovers,” Allen said. “You have to take that momentum by the horns and run with it. That’s exactly what we did.”
That momentum resulted in Liberty scoring again before the end of the third quarter. Liberty wide receiver Quaishon Campbell raced 60 yards for a touchdown to put Liberty up 20-14 with less then a minute remaining in the quarter.
The Bulldogs were not done, however. Lakeview was able to score with Evan Adair receiving a pass from quarterback Zack Rogers from 12 yards away. Josh Kelly’s extra point put the Bulldogs back in front, 21-20, with 7:31 left in the game.