Football: Lions feeling stingy on 'D' in rout over FSK

The Liberty football team is off to one of the best starts in school history, and a trend is developing.

Game after game, the stingy Lions defense just isn't allowing many points.


It had another dominant effort in a 42-7 win over Francis Scott Key on Friday night. Liberty (7-1, 4-0 county) has won six straight games for the first time since 2008.

This was the fifth time the Liberty defense limited an opponent to seven points or fewer this season.

The only blemish Friday was an 80-yard touchdown run by FSK's Nate Imes in the second quarter. The score came after the Eagles defense halted Liberty on fourth down.

Aside from that, Liberty gave up just three other plays of 10 yards or more. FSK rushed for 102 yards in the game, including the Imes touchdown.

"We had to replace a lot of great players from last year," linebacker Spence Kirin said. "But as [summer workouts] continued, players kept improving, and it made our defense a lot better."

The Lions were the No. 2 seed in the Class 2A West playoff rankings entering this week, trailing only undefeated Frederick County power Walkersville (8-0).

They did not get off to a great start Friday. Four second-quarter drops and a fumble recovery by Steven Keeney helped the Eagles (0-8, 0-3) keep the game close. The FSK defense was prepared, preventing the kind of big plays in the passing attack that have hindered it all season.

"Best half by far," Imes said of the first-half defense.

Still, Liberty led 20-7 at halftime and was dominant in the second half.

After FSK failed on an onside kick to open the second half, Liberty took advantage. Senior quarterback Ben Agostino found speedy junior Noah Rohrer for a 39-yard touchdown grab. Rohrer had 91 receiving yards on four catches.

Agostino finished 15-of-25 with 187 passing yards and three touchdowns. Corey Luthe and Nick Lappotta had the other touchdown receptions for Liberty. Blaine Roach had 74 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

After a dominant 21-point third quarter, Liberty had a running clock and took out many of its starters. Coach Larry Luthe noted the second-quarter mistakes but said he liked how his team handled adversity.

After FSK scored its only touchdown in the second quarter, Agostino led the Lions down the field for a touchdown, capped by Luthe's 16-yard touchdown reception with less than a minute in the first half.

"I was really excited about how they responded," Luthe said. They ran the two minute drill and it led to a touchdown. That says a lot about the character of the kids on this team."


Liberty finishes the season with a home game against North Hagerstown next week and a road showdown against county rival Century (7-1, 3-0), a game with playoff-seeding implications. The Lions seemed more focused on acknowledging the mistakes made than celebrating a victory. It's that kind of workmanlike attitude that has led to six straight wins and the promise of another postseason berth.

"We're excited," Kirin said, "but there's still a lot that we need to fix."

Francis Scott Key 0 7 0 0 — 7

Liberty 14 6 22 0 — 42


L-Nick Lappotta 5 pass from Ben Agostino (Brett Dardzinski kick)

L-Blaine Roach 1 run (Dardzinski kick)

FSK-Nate Imes 80 run (Kris Barmoy kick)

L-Corey Luthe 16 pass from Agostino (kick failed)

L-Noah Rohrer 39 pass from Agostino (attempt failed)

L-Roach 1 run (Roach run)

L-Rohrer 1 run (Spence Kirin from Agostino)



FSK-Imes 12-96 Bobby Sylves 3-2, Brett Rinehart 1-(-1), Sam Coibion 3-4, Jake Pirrung 2-4, Steven Keeney 6-(-2), Chandler Frank 1-4, Aiden Mosher 1-3; L-Roach 15-74, Corey Luthe 4-7, Agostino 5-20, Noah Rohrer 5-29, Braden Lee 2-7, Nolan Karfonta 2-13, Kevin Foster 3-7, Ryan Luthe 3-13.


FSK-Jake Pirrung 3-8-0 25; L-Agostino 15-25-0 187.


FSK-Coibion 2-22, Sylves 1-3; L-Tyler Bowling 2-22, Spence Kirin 4-32, Nick Lappotta 4-26, Noah Rohrer 4-91, Luthe 1-16.