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Second half leaves Bruins in ruins

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Liberty moves to 2-0 with 47-17 win over Blacksburg

By Mike Forster

Two weeks, two comebacks.

Two comebacks, two wins.

The Liberty Minutemen improved their record to 2-0, with a resounding 47-17 victory over homestanding Blacksburg.

The Minutemen posted 33 unanswered points in the second half to bury the Bruins.

Liberty’s depth spelled the difference in this one.  In essence, the Bruins have one superb arrow to shoot at you.

The Minutemen have an entire quiver-full.

And those arrows were flying, making the second half look like Henry V’s fields of Agincourt.

They were needed after a tepid Liberty first half.

That’s because Bruin super weapon Terrence Travis struck twice for touchdowns.  The first came when he scrambled his way out of danger and into the end zone.

The second came when he kept on the option, running the play to perfection.

“He’s a very gifted athlete,” noted Liberty Head Coach Chris Watts.  “He’s hard to simulate in practice.”

Some good fortune kept things close for the M-Men.

Quarterback Kody Outhong broke loose on the option.  He had already picked up 25 yards when a Bruin stripped him of the ball.

Thomas Clark, racing just behind Outhong, found the ball bounce into his arms.  Never breaking stride, Clark strolled the remaining 40 yards to the end zone.

Despite being down 17-14 at halftime, Watts told his charges, “You know what we’re doing and you have the ability.   Just stay focused on the task at hand.”

He also told them not to panic.

They didn’t.  Instead, the Minutemen came out with a sense of purpose.  It took Liberty just three plays to score after the opening kickoff.

That touchdown came on Outhong’s 16-yard dash.

The next time Blacksburg touched the ball, it was stripped away.  Anthony Reynolds scooped it up for a 20-yard return for a touchdown.

Now the M-Men were rolling.  Reynolds capped off the third quarter with a one-yard plunge to paydirt.  Suddenly that 17-14 Blacksburg lead was a 34-17 Liberty advantage.

The once vibrant Bruin crowd started heading for the exits.

For those Blacksburgians who remained, there was nothing cheery for them.  Clark added a 32-yard TD and Josh Martin ran in a score from six yards out, to end the Liberty scoring explosion.

Meanwhile, the Minutemen defense was punishing.

Middle linebacker Michael Bowyer set the tone for the second half with some audible pops.

There was also a lot of “Shh’ing” going on.  That’s “Shh” as in defenders Doug Schaeffer, Dennis Shoen and Thomas Schacter, who were observed rising to the occasion on many defensive plays.

Game notes

-This was a big win over a disciplined program.  That Blacksburg is a Div. 4 team doesn’t hurt, either.

-Reynolds posted 23 points against Blacksburg:  three touchdowns and five PAT kicks.  He now has 41 points after just two football games.

-The Minutemen are averaging 43.5 points per game.

-Liberty picked up 304 yards against the Bruins, 285 via the ground game.  Outhong (87 yards), Clark (84) and Reynolds (79) paced the team.

-The Minutemen kicking game seems to be taking shape.  Clark, as usual, did a fine job with punts.  Jerry Thompson boomed some kickoffs.  It looks as though Reynolds fits right in as a PAT specialist.