Football: Long time coming for unbeaten Lions, who whip Williamsport

For the Carroll County Times

Nate Kent stood tall during the first quarter and was rocked by a Williamsport defender.

The hit drew a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty. But seconds before the collision, Kent unleashed a 31-yard touchdown strike to the outstretched arms of Chris Darminio.

The score fueled the Lions as they rolled to a 38-20 victory over Williamsport on Thursday and moved to 3-0 for the first time in 18 years.

Liberty’s 17-0 win last Saturday over Walkersville snapped its opponent’s 24-game regular season winning streak. It was the Lions’ first win over their 2A West rival since 2005, and they found similar success Thursday.

Kent finished 12 of 21 for 218 passing yards (unofficial) and three touchdowns. He also added 77 yards on the ground.

Liberty’s potent offensive attack needed just three plays on their opening drive of the game. Kent found senior receiver Ryan Luthe for a 7-yard touchdown to give the Lions a 6-0 lead.

Williamsport (1-2) needed little time to respond and answered with offensive firepower of its own following the ensuing kickoff.

Quarterback Lincoln Ball connected with Zhy Lyles, and the senior running back turned a short completion to an 80-yard score down the left field sideline, giving Williamsport a 7-6 lead.

Ball threw three touchdowns on the night.

Senior wide receiver Riley Wolfensberger caught touchdowns of 29 and 52 yards to lead the Wildcats.

When one team scored, though, the opposition responded.

Liberty freshman running back Tommy Nelson ripped off a huge kick return to take the Lions to the Williamsport 28-yard line. Eight plays later, Jack Bulakites powered his way in from 2 yards out.

Liberty took a 21-14 halftime lead.

The Lions’ offense — powered by Kent — didn’t take long to ramp up in the second half.

Just two plays into the third quarter, Kent ripped off 55-yard touchdown keeper, bursting past the entire Williamsport defense.

Darminio picked off Ball across the middle of the field during the following possession and was rewarded on the other side of the ball by Kent with a 54-yard touchdown reception.

Sean Disbrow added a 33-yard field goal to extend Liberty’s lead to 38-14.

Williamsport’s attempt to gain any momentum was shut down by the Lions’ defense. They sufficed for just six points in the second half.

Senior running back Nick Henderson handled the bulk of the rushing production, finishing with 74 yards on 16 carries.

Thursday’s game was moved up one day due to impending weather conditions. A sloppy start to the month of September washed out a number of high school football games across the state, leading to postponements, rescheduled games, and cancellations.

The Lions will kick off Carroll County Athletic League play on the road next Friday night at 7 with a matchup against Winters Mill.

Williamsport 7 7 6 0 — 20

Liberty 14 7 21 0 — 38

SCORING SUMMARY

L-Ryan Luthe 7 pass from Nate Kent (kick failed)

W-Zhy Wagner 80 pass from Lincoln Ball (Ball kick)

L-Chris Darminio 31 pass from Kent (conversion good)

W-Riley Wolfensberger 52 pass from Ball (Ball kick)

L-Jack Bulakites 2 run (Sean Disbrow kick)

L-Kent 55 run (Disbrow kick)

L-Darminio 54 pass from Kent (Disbrow kick)

L-Disbrow 33 field goal

W-Wolfensberger 29 pass from Ball (conversion failed)

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