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16th-Ranked Tribe Hand Flames Third-Straight Shutout Loss
For the third-straight game, the Flames failed to put any points on the scoreboard as 16th-ranked William & Mary racked up 635 yards of total offense to propel them to a 56-0 victory, Saturday afternoon, on Cary Field at Walter J. Zable Stadium in the Tribe's first home game of the season.
The last time the Flames were able to record a point was on a 27 yard field goal by Zacry Kolegue with 12:39 left in the fourth quarter of Liberty's season-opening victory over Concord on September 3rd.
The contest marks the first time in school history that Liberty has been shutout in three-consecutive games and leaves Liberty's scoreless streak at 192:39, surpassing the previous school record of 139:50 set during the 1977 season.
William & Mary (2-2) got on the scoreboard first in the contest as Elijah Brooks took a pitch from quarterback Mike Potts and found an opening on the right side of the field on a one yard touchdown with 4:03 left in the first quarter. The 10-play, 69-yard drive was keyed by two third-down conversions and a 24 yard run by Joe Marianacci.
The Tribe added to its lead on its next possession as William & Mary capped off a 12-play, 72-yard drive that ate up 5:58 on the game clock as Potts faked a hand-off to Brooks and found Matt Trinkle open in the back of the endzone for a two yard touchdown reception at the 12:16 mark of the second quarter, giving the Tribe a 14-0 lead.
Liberty (1-3) moved the ball on its next drive and even converted on a fourth-and-inches play to get into Tribe territory; however, the Flames could not convert on a second fourth-and-inches play as a diving play by quarterback Brock Farrel fell just short on the far side of the field, giving William & Mary the ball back on downs.
And seven plays later, the Tribe was able to extent its lead as a one yard run up the middle by Brooks finished off a 69 yard drive, pushing William & Mary's lead to 21-0 with 3:41 left in the first half.
The Flames once again advanced the ball deep into William & Mary territory on the ensuing drive as Farrel completed a 46 yard pass play to Lauren Williams; however, two plays later, Farrel's attempted pass to Zach Terrell on the outside was picked off by linebacker Ryan Nickell and returned 28 yards.
After a 39 yard sideline pass play to D.J. McAuley that got the Tribe to the Flames' 16 yard line, Potts completed a sweeping 14 yard pass to Brooks who was able to find the endzone with 66 seconds left before the intermission, allowing the Tribe to head to the locker room with a 28-0 advantage.
William & Mary took the opening kickoff of the second half and methodically marched down the field as a one yard run by Brooks up the middle gave the running back his fourth touchdown of the afternoon at the 7:06 mark of the third and capped off a grinding 15-play, 80-yard drive that took up 7:54 on the game clock.
The score remained the same until the 9:40 mark of the fourth quarter when William & Mary back-up quarterback Jacob Phillips rolled out and called his own number for a five yard touchdown run, capping off a 10-play, 84-yard drive and pushing the Tribe's margin to 42-0.
The Tribe put the finishing touches on the afternoon later in the fourth quarter as Phillips found Elliott Mack open in the endzone on a 34 yard touchdown strike with 6:59 left to play in the contest, while five minutes later, Chris Taylor capped off a nine-play, 57-yard drive with a four yard run at the 1:29 mark to seal the victory.
On the afternoon, William & Mary finished with 635 yards of total offense on 92 plays, while Liberty was held to just 145 yards on 47 plays. The Tribe finished the contest with a dominating 40:57 to 19:03 time of possession advantage as well.
Brooks led the Tribes' rushing attack with 102 yards on 22 carries and three touchdowns, while the Flames had just two rushers finish with positive rushing yards in Marcus Hamilton (10 yards) and Rajive Otah (nine yards) with the team finishing with negative six yards.
Potts completed 19-of-25 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns, while Farrel paced the Flames as he completed 7-of-13 passes for 126 yards. Nicholas led all Tribe receivers with eight catches for 110 yards, while Williams led the team with two catches for 60 yards.
Nick Hurskey posted his third-straight game with double figure tackles as he led the team with 10 stops, while Kenneth Kemp and Tyler Turner followed with nine stops each.
The Flames begin Big South Conference action next weekend when they host VMI on Saturday at Williams Stadium as part of the University's annual Homecoming Weekend. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for Noon and the game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic as part of the Big South Television Network.