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Inside the Game: Liberty Hawks 41, Kerman Lions 26

Player of the game: It was an inauspicious start for Wyatt Johnson, but he more than made up for it Friday night. On the first drive of the game, the Liberty defense forced a punt, but Johnson fumbled the return and Kerman regained possession. However, Johnson got his chance on a short punt. He picked up the punt on a hop and went untouched into the end zone for the team’s first special teams touchdown of the season. He then recorded nine tackles on defense, six solo. Then, he made a leaping interception late in the fourth quarter to stop a Kerman drive and help Liberty run out the clock. 

 

Unsung hero of the game: He may have been in crutches, but it was his appearance that helped the team. Christian Baker returned to the sideline Friday night after he was injured last week. He will miss the remainder of the season with torn knee ligaments, that included a fractured fibula. However, he still hobbled on crutches with the team captains and called the coin toss. After Kaleb Roth scored a early Liberty touchdown, Roth ran up the sideline and presented Baker with the ball. Baker held onto the ball the remainder of the game and his passion helped carry the Hawks to a sixth straight win. 

 

Play of the game: After the defense forced a Kerman punt after a fourth-and-48, the Hawks faced a fourth down of their own. Brandt faked a hand-off and started to roll to his right. He stopped and threw back to the left to a wide open Greyson Hoelzel. Hoelzel ran by two Kerman tacklers and leaped into the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown and a 35-6 third quarter lead. 

 

Drive of the game: Kerman scored a long touchdown to cut Liberty’s lead to 15 early in the fourth quarter. The Hawks began to drive down the field. Kaleb Roth carried for 11 yards and a first down. On third down, Brandt carried for 12 and a first down. That was followed by an 11 and 10 yard run from Brand to get to the 13-yard line. Wyatt Roth closed out the drive with a 13-yard run and increase Liberty’s lead to 41-20. Liberty averaged nine yards per play in the 63-yard drive.