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Football: Liberty roars again, this time in road win over Winters Mill

Liberty’s tough start to the season is a distant memory.

The Lions roared to their third straight victory, all coming in Carroll County Athletic League play, with a dominating 28-7 win at Winters Mill on Friday night.

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Liberty (3-2, 3-0 CCAL) forced a quick three-and-out by Winters Mill on the opening drive despite a nice return from Alex Carr out to the 45-yard line. It didn’t take long for the Lions to strike with a big play. After a few short runs and passes, quarterback Nate Kent hit Paul Libbee in stride along the sideline for a 63-yard score and a 7-0 lead.

Winters Mill (2-3,1-2) had trouble moving the ball all night against the staunch Lions’ defense. Liberty harassed Falcons quarterback Matheo Cuenca all game and picked up three first half sacks, two by Peyton Scheufele.

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A second short drive by WM set Liberty up for a second first quarter score. The Lions took over the ball right around midfield and Kent made short work of the Falcons’ defense. A couple of short runs by Chris Smith and catches by Scheufele and Michael Spitz set Liberty up at the 11-yard line. Kent cashed in that drive by lofting a pass to Spitz in the back corner of the end zone for an 11-yard score.

The Falcons showed some grit and put up some fight at the end of the first quarter. Cuenca got some offensive momentum going with first down passes to Andrew Buzzeo and Cayden Beard. They caught a tough break when a long pass from Cuenca to Buzzeo was called back because of a penalty.

The Falcons still managed to drive the ball down to the Liberty 10 before a sack and a penalty short-circuited the progress.

After stopping the Falcons on fourth down, Liberty went back to work. Big plays were a theme of the night for Liberty as Kent again hit Spitz, this time for 32 yards. The Lions continued to dice up the Falcons defense and capped that drive off with a 5-yard touchdown run from Tommy Nelson.

Kent was impressive in the first half, completing 7 of his 11 pass attempts with the two touchdowns. He did make one mistake, throwing a pick on a long pass just before half. Spitz had four catches for 60 yards and a score at half.

The Falcons came out of the half fired up and their defense forced a fumble on Liberty’s opening drive. Winters Mill took over at their own 45-yard line but Liberty’s defense proved too much as two tackles for loss and a sack moved the Falcons back. After failing to get the punt off, WM set Liberty up in prime scoring position.

However, the Winters Mill defense buckled down and stuffed the Lions on fourth down. After the teams traded field position, the Falcons defense again stood up strong by causing another fumble on Liberty’s next drive. The Falcons’ defense forced four turnovers in the game.

After a Winters Mill punt, Liberty finally got itself going in the fourth quarter. Kent and Nelson had first down runs on a drive that culminated with a 33-yard TD strike from Kent to Libbee. It was Libbee’s second long touchdown reception of the game and took the Lions’ lead to 28-0.

The Falcons did add a late touchdown with under a minute to play. Cuenca orchestrated a long drive and capped it off with a 1-yard touchdown plunge with 30 seconds to go. Winters Mill hasn’t beaten Liberty since 2013.

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