Hawks remain undefeated
Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Liberty linebackers William Bucaroff (88) and Wyatt Roth tackle Corcoran quarterback Jayden Mustain for a loss during Friday’s 67-19 victory over the Panthers.
With the television cameras focused on Kaleb Roth and the Hawks, Liberty didn’t disappoint with a 67-19 rout of the Corcoran Panthers to improve to 5-0 on the season.
Television crews for KGPE-47 and KSEE-24 came to Liberty to talk to Roth and head coach Mike Nolte about Roth’s About the Game initiative, which raises money for every point Liberty scored and donates it to Valley Children’s Hospital.
The Hawks scored the first two times they touched the ball and ended up with 10 drives in the game, all touchdowns.
“We practice and prepare like we would for anybody. That’s how we do it every week. I tell the kids all the time winning isn’t easy. Tonight is a result of our preparation. Not just this week, but throughout the summer and everything. All that preparation isn’t easy.”
The Hawks jumped out to a 47-12 lead at the halftime and emptied the bench in the second half before cruising to a 48-point victory. The 67 points is tied for third all time for most points scored in a game.
“That was a concern is you want to get out of a game like that healthy and want to get everyone into the game,” Nolte said. “You want to finish the game and not get someone hurt.”
Seven different players carried the ball for the Hawks. Tahner Green led Liberty with 114 yards rushing on just three carries. Two of those carries went for touchdowns, including a 69-yard run.
Five different receivers caught passes, led by Colton Cardoza’s three for 62 yards and two touchdowns. The other four receivers caught their first passes Friday.
The Hawks face a tough Patterson team before heading into the bye week before beginning North Sequoia League play against Sierra-Tollhouse on Homecoming on Oct. 13.
“Our goal each week is to go 1-0, not only that, but to get better each week,” Nolte said. “We want to keep progressing as a team. A lot of times, you have to work on yourself. That was a big focus this week. Friday night takes care of it when you do that kind of stuff.”
The Panthers opened the game by attempting an onsides kick. It looked to have worked with the Panthers catching the kick past the 10-yard mark. However, the referees ruled Corcoran touched the ball before it went 10 yards and the Hawks took over at midfield.
On the next play, Roth went off right tackle and cut up the middle for a 50-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead just 12 seconds into the game.
The Hawks forced a quick punt and it was blocked by Wyatt Roth and recovered by Rylan Howe at the Corcoran 29-yard line.
On the next play, quarterback Greyson Hoelzel rolled to his right and hit a wide-open Cardoza for a 29-yard touchdown pass. Bradley Moon’s extra point gave the Hawks a 14-0 lead just 1:29 into the game.
Another punt led to another Liberty touchdown. The big play was a Ryan Howe run up the middle for a 45-yard gain. Two plays later, Roth scored from six yards out for a 20-0 lead after the missed extra point.
The Hawks forced a punt and the Hawks scored on another quick drive. Hoelzel launched a pass down the field to Moon to the one-yard line. Kaleb Roth scored on the next play and Moon hit the extra point for a 27-0 lead with five minutes still left in the first quarter.
The Hawks’ next drive lasted seven plays for 48 yards into the second quarter. Hoelzel ended the drive with a 17-yard pass to Moon for a 33-0 lead 10 seconds into the second quarter.
The Panthers used a broken play for a 45-yard pass play to get on the scoreboard and cut the Hawks’ lead to 27.
The Hawks answered with another quick drive. After a Roth 14-yard run, Hoelzel hit Cardoza with a 32-yard touchdown catch-and-run to open a 40-6 lead just 45 seconds after Corcoran scored.
The Panthers then went on a 13-play, 88-yard drive that ended with a 39-yard touchdown pass with 1:17 left in the first half.
However, there was still enough time for the Hawks to get on the scoreboard.
Tahner Green carried for 20 yards. After an offsides penalty, Wyatt Roth gained nine yards for a first down. On the next play, Green went around the right side and broke a couple of tackles for a 25-yard touchdown run with 11 seconds left before heading into the half with a 47-12 lead.
Hoelzel picked off Corcoran to open the third quarter. Three plays later, Wyatt Ruth broke off a run up the middle for a 25-yard touchdown run to open a 54-12 lead and start the running clock.
The Hawks forced Corcoran to give up the ball on downs and it took one play to get on the scoreboard again.
Green went around the left side and outran the Corcoran defense for a 69-yard touchdown run for a 61-12 lead with 4:46 left in the third quarter.
The Panthers drove down and completed a 30-yard pass into the end zone for their third touchdown of the game with 1:07 left in the third quarter.
The Hawks then turned to their reserves to run the football after Howe gained 13-yards for a first down. Keaton Ellis gained 16 yards. Jarred Castaneda gained 17 yards.
After Bradley Miller hit Cole Cowger for a quick pass, Ellis gained nine for a first down. Three plays later, Castaneda scored from a yard out. Moon put the final touches on a 67-19 victory with the extra point with five minutes left in the game.