Sep 9, 2008

Flames pound Pioneers

by William Armstrong

The Flames football team cruised to its tenth consecutive home victory, defeating the Glenville State Pioneers 44-27 in front of 13,917 fans.

Five out of Liberty’s six touchdowns went for at least 28 yards.

“We controlled the game, had the more talented team, hit the big plays 

early and executed,” Head Coach Danny Rocco said.
Special teams opened the night with a big hit to set the tempo, and the Liberty defense shut down the Pioneers’ offensive unit for a three and out.

Four plays into the Flames opening drive, Brock Smith and Dominic Bolden connected on a 72-yard touchdown. The pass was overthrown, but Bolden tipped the ball back to himself and ran the rest of the way for the touchdown. “They were not really big plays, it makes it easy on me,” Smith said. “We gained momentum on Bolden’s touchdown.”

Smith lobbed an over-the-shoulder pass to Jonathan Crawford a 33-yard touchdown on the Flames next possession.

Bolden returned a kick to Liberty’s 42-yard line with just under six minutes remaining in the first quarter. Mike Brown took a slant pass 49 yards to the Glenville two-yard line, allowing Zach Terrell to punch it in from the one-yard line. The score marked Terrell’s 18th consecutive game with a rushing touchdown as Liberty took a 20-7 lead into the second quarter.

After the Flames defense stopped the Pioneer offense, Bolden returned the punt 72 yards for a touchdown, giving him the fifth longest return in Big South history.

Smith threw a 28-yard strike over a Pioneer defender’s head and into the arms of Bold

en for the touchdown, which ended the first half scoring with Liberty on top, 34-7.

Matt Bevins scored the Flames only points of the third quarter, netting a 38-yard field goal to extend the Flames’ lead.
In the fourth quarter, Glenville scored three touchdowns as Liberty’s defense struggled to finish tackles and shut down the Pioneer offense.

The three Pioneer scores did not capture as much attention, as Brown, now in at quarterback, scrambled for a 45-yard highlight reel run to conclude the game’s scoring. “I love seeing our guys succeed,” Smith said. “It was great seeing him put one in after barely missing one earlier in the game.”

When kicker Paul Young went down on an injury, Ben Shipps nailed all three extra points he attempted.

Bolden caught three passes for 88 yards and a touchdown and had 265 all-purpose yards. Bolden is a part of a proud special teams group that won the Big South award last week.

“It is fun being a part of this unit,” Bolden said. “We take pride in what we do, and it is a whole group effort 

week in and week out.” Crawford had four catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Smith completed seven of 11 passes for 202 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Smith came into the game fifteenth in the nation in all-time quarterback rating.

Terrell rushed 24 times for 111 yards and a touchdown.“Zach is a very versatile athlete to step in as a regular number two running back,” Smith said.

Daryl Robertson was all over the field defensively, recording seven tackles, three and a half tackles for losses and one and a half sacks.

Seniors Nick Hursky and Rashad Jennings, both out with injuries, will be back for next weeks’ game against Western Carolina in the first of a three-game road swing next Saturday.

Liberty returns home on Oct. 11 to face Stony Brook.


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