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Undercurrents will abound when Liberty plays its Regional semifinal playoff game against district rival, Brookville.
The Minutemen should be licking their chops at the prospect of making up for the drubbing they received at the hands of the Bees five weeks ago. In that game, Liberty watched a 20-7 halftime lead evaporate after Homecoming activities, as Brookville caught fire in a 47-20 win.
Brookville?s win over the Minutemen was part of a five-game winning streak that propelled the Bees into second place in the Seminole District, as well as the top seed in the Region III, Division 3 playoffs. Brookville was able to bounce back from a season?s start that included losses to Div. 4 powerhouses Amherst and Salem, as well as an unusually strong William Byrd team.
The question on everybody?s mind is: which Liberty team will show up for this one? Will it be the team that dominated a solid Lord Botetourt team or the one that imploded against the like of Amherst and Heritage (as well as in the second half of the Brookville affair)?
Liberty?s tasks are pretty straight forward, if they want to top the Bees: run the ball like it showed it can (against Botetourt) and contain Brookville quarterback Logan Thomas and running back Stacey Houston.
The Liberty pass rush unit will have to put more pressure on Thomas than it did the last time it faced him. Against Botetourt, Cav quarterback Emory Straub had scads of time in which to try and locate his receivers. Fortunately, the Liberty pass coverage limited Straub to only one reception.
The defensive unit did a nice job on Houston, but he ran wild against them in the second half of that game.
Liberty will also have to figure a way to neutralize the height of the Brookville receivers. While Boo Payne matches up favorably, height-wise, the rest of the Minutemen defensive backfield does not.
The Minutemen also need to tighten up on their special teams. They nearly gave up two touchdowns on kickoffs against Botetourt. Against Brookville, Liberty muffed two onside kickoff attempts, resulting in Bee possessions. You can guarantee that the Brookville coaching staff has these facts in the forefront of its collective mind.
Gametime is 7:30 this Friday at Brookville. The winner will face the winner of the R.E. Lee at Stuart?s Draft game being played Friday.