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Gandy-Golden Shines in 62-27 Win over Hampton

September 21, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty standout wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden continued his march to rewrite the Flames' record books during a 62-27 Liberty win over visiting Hampton, Saturday night, during Family Weekend at Williams Stadium.

The senior only had four receptions tonight, but he made each of them count. He finished the evening with 181 receiving yards, his 13th career 100-yard game. After four games during his final season at Liberty, the native of Dallas, Ga., needs just 38 yards to become the second receiver in school history with 3,000 receiving yards (2,962).

With his two touchdown receptions on the night, Gandy-Golden matches Darrin Peterson (2012-15) for the program record with 27 career touchdown receptions.

Liberty's second win in a row saw the Flames finish the game with a season-high 575 yards on 55 plays (average of 10.5 yards per play).

The Flames more than doubled their season rushing total on the night, finishing the game with 38 carries for 256 yards (Liberty came into the game having rushed for 214 yards on 89 rushing attempts this season).

Redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Robinson led Liberty's rushing attack, carrying the ball seven times for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

Stephen Calvert posted his 14th career 300-yard game, completing 10-of-16 passing attempts for 319 yards and two touchdowns.

Jessie Lemonier led a multitude of defenders with tackles on the night, finishing the contest with six stops (three solo, three assisted). Ceneca Espinoza, Jr., had three tackles, including a five-yard sack, and a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Box Score Highlights:
Final Score: 62-27
Liberty (2-2)
Hampton (2-2, 0-0 Big South)
Location: Williams Stadium (Lynchburg, Va.)
Attendance: 18,944

Turning Point:

The two teams found the end zone a total of six times during the first quarter, which took over one hour to play. The Flames carried a 27-12 lead into the second quarter and never looked back the rest of the night.

Liberty could have added two more touchdowns during the opening quarter, but the Flames had two special teams touchdown returns called back due to penalties (64-yard punt return by DJ Stubbs and a 94-yard kickoff return by Shedro Louis).

Play-By-Play Breakdown:

First Quarter
• For the third week in a row, the Flames scored a touchdown on the game's opening drive. Frankie Hickson found the end zone on a two-yard run at 13:46, giving the redshirt senior his 20th career rushing touchdown. The scoring play was set up by a 47-yard pass from Calvert to Stubbs.
• Five more touchdowns were scored during the remainder of the quarter, which lasted one hour in total length of time and saw Liberty hold a lead 27-12.
• The Flames scored two more touchdowns on the ground (two-yard run by Robinson and a one-yard run by Peytton Pickett) and Gandy-Golden scored his 26th career touchdown reception on a career-long play of 73 yards.
• The Pirates scored first on a muffed punt return, while Deondre Francois hit Jadakis Bonds on a 28-yard scoring route over the middle of the field at 2:18 mark.

Second Quarter
• Espinoza, Jr., pushed Liberty's lead to 34-12 when the redshirt junior recorded his second interception of the year and third of his career. He picked off the Francois pass at near midfield with a leaping snag and returned it 45 yards for the score at 9:33.
• The Flames scored once more before the clock hit zero at halftime when Gandy-Golden found the end zone on a 29-yard pass play. The senior caught a pass over the middle and avoided three Hampton defenders to tie Liberty's all-time career touchdown record giving Liberty a 41-12 lead 64 seconds before the break.

Third Quarter
• The Pirates opened the second half with their most successful drive of the night, a six-play, 80-yard drive that ended on a 25-yard pass from Francois to Alec Dana at 11:57.
• Gandy-Golden nearly had the all-time career touchdown record midway through the quarter, but the senior was pushed out at the three-yard line on a 60-yard pass play. Joshua Mack scored his first touchdown in a Liberty uniform on the next play, giving Liberty a 48-20 lead at 10:58.
• The Flames could have scored one more time before the end of the third quarter, but Liberty had a third special teams touchdown negated due to a penalty. Louis returned his second punt on the night for a touchdown, this one for 67 yards, but was called back on the second to last play of the period.  

Fourth Quarter
• Robinson pushed the Flames over the half-century mark for the first time since the 2018 season finale against Norfolk State. The redshirt freshman's second rushing touchdown of the night went for 75 yards and gave Liberty a 55-20 lead with 13:02 left in the game. 
• Each team scored once more before the clock expired. Francois completed a 53-yard pass to Bonds for the Pirates at 10:05 and Troy Henderson broke free for a 59-yard touchdown run for Liberty with 7:53 left to play.

What's Next:

The Flames will close out a three-game homestand when they welcome New Mexico to Williams Stadium, next Saturday. The Lobos are coming off a 55-52 shootout win at home against New Mexico State earlier today. The Flames will play New Mexico State twice in 2019, with a road game taking place on Oct. 5 and in the season finale at home on Nov. 30.

Date: Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019
Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Williams Stadium)
TV: ESPN+ (LFSN TV Production)
Radio: LFSN Radio (Flagship Station: The Journey 88.3 FM Lynchburg)
Kickoff: 6:06 p.m. (EST)