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Allen Carries Flames to Victory over Bucs
A trio of 30-plus yard rushing touchdowns by Aldreakis Allen sparked Liberty's offense and paced the Flames to a 26-12 Big South victory over Charleston Southern, Saturday.
Following their fourth victory in the last five games, Liberty now stands at 4-5 on the season and 3-1 in Big South play.
The loss snapped Charleston Southern's three-game win streak, dropping the Buccaneers to 4-5 on the season and 2-2 in the Big South.
Liberty has now won 18 out of its 20 meetings with Charleston Southern. The victory extends the Flames' Big South home winning streak to a conference-record 17 games.
Liberty's offensive game plan for the day was made evident quite quickly, with the Flames taking to the ground five times on the opening five-play, 71-yard scoring drive.
The fifth and final time, Allen found a gap in the middle of the line and raced 35 yards downfield, staking the Flames to a quick 7-0 lead with 12:12 left on the opening quarter clock.
The score remained the same until midway through the first quarter. Liberty looked to like it had stopped the Buccaneers for the second time on the afternoon, this time on a fourth-and-six play at the Liberty 41-yard line.
However, Charleston Southern quarterback Malcolm Dixon was able to scramble and draw the defense to the near side of the field. Liberty's full defensive pursuit left tight end Kirby Broome open on the far side of the field. He scored untouched at the 3:08 point of the first quarter. Tyson Pryor missed the extra point, allowing the Flames to hold onto a 7-6 lead.
The two teams traded unsuccessful possessions for most of the second quarter, but Allen was able to rekindle the offense on one play to give Liberty a seven-point halftime lead.
After stopping the Bucs on their second straight three-and-out series, Liberty handed the ball to Allen on consecutive plays.
On the second, the junior used key blocks from offensive lineman Aaron Lundy and Jay Weatherington to create a hole, which allowed him to scamper 56 yards for a score with 5:13 left to play in the game.
Freshman John Lunsford missed his first career point-after attempt, leaving the score at 13-6 after Malcolm Jackson blocked the kick.
The Flames finished the opening 30 minutes of the game with a 241 to 173 total offensive yard edge over the visiting Buccaneers.
The two teams used opposing methods to advance the ball, with Liberty rushing for 186 yards and Charleston Southern passing for 117 yards.
Allen nearly missed eclipsing the 100-yard mark on the ground during the first half by one yard, carrying the ball eight times for 99 yards. Sirchauncey Holloway shared time in the backfield for the Flames, rushing 10 times for 63 yards.
Dixon accounted for most of Charleston Southern's offense, as he completed 5-of-6 passing attempts for 117 yards. Larry Jones finished the first half with two receptions for 52 yards.
Teddy Allen paced Charleston Southern's limited rushing attack (56 yards) with nine carries for 31 yards. Dixon followed with seven rushing attempts for 13 yards.
Liberty's defense took control of the game during the third quarter, forcing three consecutive three-and-out series and holding Charleston Southern to just 33 yards during the 15-minute period.
The Flames offense took advantage of its ample time with the ball during the quarter (9:08 of time of possession) to record its final two scoring drives of the game.
Six carries by Holloway got the Flames into scoring position, setting up a pass to fullback Nicky Fualaau.
Woodrum faked another handoff to Holloway, drawing the defense in enough to allow Fualaau to get open and score his second touchdown of the year on a five-yard passing play with 8:31 left to play in third quarter.
Aldreakis Allen capped off his banner game on Liberty's next drive, pushing the Flames lead to 26-6 with 4:03 left in the third quarter.
Liberty elected to go for it on a fourth-and-three play and Woodrum was able to scramble and find Kelly open over the middle for a six-yard gain.
On the next play, Aldreakis Allen made two cuts, one left and one right, to find a hole and race the remaining 20 yards untouched for his third score of the game. Lunsford failed to convert on his second extra point attempt, leaving the Flames with a 20-point lead with 19 minutes to play.
The Buccaneers were able to find the end zone for a second time on the day late in the fourth quarter to cut into Liberty's lead.
Dixon completed back-to-back double-digit yard passes to Jones, helping set up a five-yard quarterback draw play with 1:36 left on the clock. Charleston Southern elected to go for two on the extra point and Liberty was able to stop them from scoring, leaving the final score at 26-12.
Liberty finished the game with 410 total offensive yards, with 73.6 percent of its yards coming on the ground. The Flames surpassed the 200-yard mark on the ground for the fourth time this year, rushing 44 times for 302 yards and a season-high 15 rushing first downs.
Aldreakis Allen had his second most productive game as a Flame against Charleston Southern, finishing the game with 19 carries for 179 yards and three scoring runs. Holloway matched Aldreakis Allen's rushing carries total and had 97 rushing yards.
Woodrum finished the afternoon 12-of-19 for 108 passing yards. Kelly led the Flames in receptions for the seventh time this season with five catches for 61 yards.
Dixon paced Charleston Southern, personally finishing the game with 229 of the team's 306 total offensive yards.
Dixon completed 10-of-15 passing attempts for 184 yards and ran the ball 11 times for 45 yards.
Teddy Allen led Charleston Southern with 16 carries for 39 yards, while the Buccaneers' top receiver was Jones with four receptions for 93 yards.
For the first time this season, Liberty finished a game without a turnover and the Flames finished the afternoon with a season-low three penalties for 35 yards.
For the second time in three games, Brent Vinson reached double figures, leading the Flames with 10 tackles (nine solo, one assisted). Jacob Hagen followed with nine stops (eight solo, one assisted), followed by Nick Sigmon's eight-tackle night (six solo, two assisted).
Charleston Southern's top defender was Elijah Lee. The defensive back matched Vinson with 10 stops, including eight solo tackles. Cornelius Sterling followed with nine stops (four solo, five assisted).
Liberty will close out the regular season portion of its 2012 home schedule next weekend when Big South leader No. 9/9 Stony Brook visits Williams Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
The Seawolves will come into the game riding a seven-game win streak, a 9-1 overall record and an unblemished 5-0 Big South record. Earlier today, Stony Brook won its seventh conference game in a row with a 45-7 win at home over VMI.
The game will be the fifth meeting in the series between the two programs, with the home team claiming victory in each of the previous four meetings. The last three meetings in the series have determined the outcome of the Big South Conference title.