Adept Amherst lights up Liberty

-A A +A

Minutemen finish regular season 6-4 with loss at Lancer Stadium

By Mike Forster

  Talk about a turn of fortune!

Liberty was roundly beaten by homestanding Amherst Friday evening.  The Lancers showed their trademark speed and strength in taking the win to the tune of 46-14.

What the Lancers also did was seize the top spot in Region III, Division 4:  more on that later.

The Minutemen, on the other hand, were dealt the following consolation prizes:

-A drop from #4 to #6 in the Division 3 seedings.

-A loss of home field for the opener.

-A long journey to Staunton to play R.E. Lee this Friday.

Regrettably, those lodestones were earned by the Minutemen.  For a second straight game, Liberty committed the kind of gaffes you might expect from a team that is loaded with underclassmen.

Well, Liberty is, in fact, loaded with underclassmen.  They're a talented bunch, but they're learning that errors  can quickly come back to haunt you against the likes of Amherst.

You don't have to dig too deep to unearth the miscues that did in the M-Men at Lancer Stadium:

-Five turnovers, including three fumbles and two interceptions.

-Eight penalties.

-Two improperly fielded kickoffs which were recovered by Amherst in primo field position.  In fact, the Lancers scored after each of those recoveries.

"We did just about everything we could to give (Amherst) a chance to score," rued Liberty Head Coach Chris Watts.  "We did well early but shot ourselves in the foot."

The facts back up the coach's assessment.  After holding Amherst in check on the Lancer's opening possession, Liberty had a long, sustained drive that had the M-Men set up on the Lancer 15.  From there, Watts opted to deviate from the ground game and go with a pass off the fake hitch.  Regrettably, Amherst's Kyle Edwards didn't bite and picked off Austin Porter's pass in the end zone.

Edwards then led the Lancers on a scoring drive to draw first blood.

Liberty responded, scoring on its next possession.  Devin Carper did the honors slashing in from nine yards out.

Then came those two mishhandled kickoffs.  Amherst recovered one on the Liberty one yard line and the other on the M-Men 10.

"It went from 7-7 to 35-7 in no time," said Coach Watts.  "It snowballed on us."



-Liberty consistently moved the ball.  In fact, the Minutemen posted 300 yards, paced by Carper's 109 rushing yards and Porter's 121 passing yards.

-Porter connected with Tre'von Lightfoot on a 24-yard scoring strike in the fourth quarter, Liberty's only other score.

-If you were looking for Matthew Smith, Liberty's stellar halfback, you had to do some hunting.  Seems a mix-up resulted in Smith arriving at the game without his jersey.  Not to worry:  He donned #80 for the contest.  Smith also was notable for the cast that adorns his hand - the result of a broken finger.

-Amherst had three gents rush for over 100 yards.  Marquis Brown (108), Darius Brown (104) and Sidney Sandidge (103) helped Amherst pile up 540 total yards.