Angry Leopards rip through Lakeview, 29-7

LIBERTY — An embarrassing Week 1 loss to Struthers must have upset the Liberty Leopards.

They sure looked mad Friday.

The Leopards thrashed the Lakeview Bulldogs, 29-7, in the Air Force Game of the Week, Battle for the Bell.

Liberty dominated the Bulldogs on the ground. Led by senior quarterback Hamad Alhmeed’s 13 carries, 123 yards and two TDs, and freshman running back Donte Venters (19 carries 120 yards 1 TD) the Leopards out-rushed Lakeview 343 to 156.

After each team punted on their first couple possessions, Alhmeed ripped off an 86-yard touchdown run to get the party started for Liberty. He kept the ball on a QB keeper, slipped through a hole on the left side and darted down the sideline. Alhmeed pulled away from defenders with blistering speed.

The point after was no good, and with 2:50 left in the first quarter, the score was 6-0.

Lakeview got the ball and drove to Liberty’s 16-yard line before fumbling the exchange. Liberty junior Tyler Mowery recovered.

The Leopards punted and forced another punt by Lakeview. This Lakeview punt led to the second huge play of the first half for Liberty. Once Liberty senior Kameron Thomas caught the kick, there was no stopping him. Thomas made multiple defenders miss and raced 65 yards into the end zone for the touchdown. A quarterback sneak by Alhmeed for the 2-point conversion made it 14-0 Liberty heading into halftime.

The Leopards came out of halftime with a trick up their sleeves. Alhmeed also performs the kicking duties for Liberty. He put just the right touch on the ball, advanced it 10 yards, and recovered his own onside kick. Liberty marched right down the field, and Alhmeed capped off the drive with a 2-yard quarterback sneak for the touchdown. Venters 2-point conversion made it 22-0, Liberty.

Members of the U.S. Air Force took part in game festivities. After each Liberty score, the military personnel, along with the Leopard cheerleaders, performed as many push-ups as Libertry had points. Also taking part in the push-up celebrations was Liberty graduate Dra Rushton. Rushton was a standout football and basketball player for Liberty. He is now a member of the YSU football team.

“I’m excited about our first game (today) at YSU,” Rushton said. ” I can’t wait to get started and to learn everything I can.”

Lakeview got the ball and drove to Liberty’s 14-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.

The Bulldogs got the ball again and finally got on the board with 24 seconds left in the third, when Dakota Whitt scratched his way in from 3 yards out on fourth down. The point after was good, making it 22-7.

Whitt led Lakeview with 105 yards on 31 carries.

Neither team passed the ball with much effectiveness. Lakeview threw for 43 yards, while Liberty tossed in 23 yards.

Liberty senior linebacker Zach Coman was a man on a mission on defense. He led the team in tackles with 12 and also had a quarterback sack.

With the game completely out of reach, the Leopards tacked on another score on a 3-yard touchdown run by Venters. The point after made it 29-7 Liberty with 3:10 remaining in the fourth.

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