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LU Puts Points on the Board Again in Win

October 31, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Will Quarles caught two touchdown passes on the afternoon, helping the Flames to a 55-19 victory over Presbyterian, Saturday afternoon, at Williams Stadium.

Will Quarles caught two touchdown passes on the afternoon, helping the Flames to a 55-19 victory over Presbyterian, Saturday afternoon, at Williams Stadium.

No. 23/24 Liberty posted its second-straight 50-point outburst in a home Big South contest, rolling to a 55-19 win over visiting Presbyterian, Saturday afternoon, in front of 14,197 fans inside Williams Stadium.

With the victory, the Flames raise their record to 6-2 on the season and remain unbeaten in conference play, as they are 3-0 in Big South action.

The win also pushes Liberty's Big South winning streak to 14-straight games, which is now the third-longest active conference winning streak in FCS football. Albany, who came into the day with nation's longest active conference winning streak (17 games) dropped a 31-29 decision to Central Connecticut State for its first Northeast Conference loss in three years.

The loss dropped Presbyterian to 0-8 on the year and 0-4 during its first season in the Big South standings. The Blue Hose have now lost 11-straight games and remain winless since upsetting No. 17 Liberty, 31-28, during the teams' 2008 meeting on Nov. 1 in Clinton, S.C.

The Flames quickly jumped out to a 7-0 lead, thanks to an Aldreakis Allen three-yard touchdown run at the 8:27 mark of the first quarter.

Presbyterian managed to move the ball to midfield on the game's opening drive, but the drive stalled at midfield. The Blue Hose then gave Liberty solid field position, thanks to a 17-yard punt.

Following short-yardage passes to Freddie Brown and Mike Brown, Tommy Beecher threaded the needle and found Will Quarles open downfield for a 37-yard pickup to the visitors' three-yard line.
Allen was then handed the ball on the next play and the freshman faked a run up the middle, but bounced to the outside, scoring his team-leading eighth rushing touchdown of the year.

After a touchback on the following kickoff, a pair of penalties pinned the Blue Hose near their goal line, where the visitors then turned the ball over.

On a first-and-23 play from the Presbyterian seven-yard line, Tim Webb's pass just over the line of scrimmage was picked off by Ian Childress. The Flames, who entered the game ranked No. 9 nationally in interceptions, now have picked off a pass in seven-straight games.

Two plays later, Beecher called his own number and found a hole open on a quarterback draw play to the left, pushing the lead to 14-0 at the 6:46 mark of the first quarter.

The Blue Hose started to pull their offense together, scoring on a 25-yard field goal from Aaron Mayes with 2:02 left to play in the quarter, to trim the lead to 14-3 on an 11-play drive.

Webb completed three of four passing attempts to push the visitors into the red zone. However, Liberty, who entered the day ranked No. 16 in the country in allowing the fewest red zone touchdowns, upped their percentage, holding Presbyterian to just three points.

The Flames answered back with their own 11-play drive, scoring a touchdown on their third-straight possession. The quarterbacking tandem of Mike Brown and Beecher completed 5-of-6 passing attempts to help the Flames march 48 yards downfield for the score.

The fifth completed pass was to Quarles, as the tight end caught a screen pass from Beecher and scored from six yards out to push Liberty's lead to 21-3 with 12:46 left to play before the intermission.

After forcing the visitors to turn the ball over on downs, Liberty took to the ground game, rushing eight times on its next 10-play scoring drive.

Beecher picked up a first down with a 10-yard run on a third-and-seven play, setting up a four-yard burst up the middle by SirChauncey Holloway to push the score to 28-3 with 2:55 left before halftime.

Both team followed with three-and-out series, but the second cost the Flames points. After losing 27 yards on the three-play drive, Liberty was forced to punt for the first time on the day. However, the snap sailed high over Mike Larsson's head out the back of the end zone, resulting in Liberty's first safety since VMI scored one against Liberty last season.

Despite the 23-point difference on the scoreboard, 28-5, the halftime statistics were nearly identical. Presbyterian outgained Liberty, 164 to 162 yards, with the Flames holding a 47-40 rushing edge and the Blue Hose clinging to a 124-115 passing yards edge.

The two quarterbacks gained the most yards for both squads during the opening 30 minutes of play. Beecher was an efficient 9-of-10 on passing for 113 yards, while Webb was not as successful, completing 11-of-20 passes for 124 yards.

Liberty quickly put the game out of reach on its first two drives of the third quarter, pushing the lead to 37 points, 42-5, less than five minutes into the period.

Two rushes by Allen, including a 30-yard pick up, set up Beecher's second touchdown pass to Quarles on the afternoon, polishing off a quick five-play, 46-yard drive to open the period.

The Flames forced the Blue Hose to punt after a three-and-out series, but punter Patrick Morgano could not handle the snap and was tackled by Liberty's Wes Cheek, giving the Flames possession at the visitor's 14-yard line.

Allen was given the ball on the next play and, after a hesitation move allowed a gap to open on the left, found the end zone to push Liberty's lead to 37 points at the 10:45 mark of the third quarter.

The remainder of the game, which was played in less than ideal conditions as rain dampened the final 40 minutes of play, saw Liberty score three times and Presbyterian tack on two late scores.
Matt Bevins closed out the third quarter, knocking down field goals of 23 and 30 yards, giving the sophomore 10 successful field goals in his last 11 attempts.

During the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Holloway scored again, this time from 14 yards out, to push Liberty's lead to 55-5 with 10:09 left to play in the game.

Brandon Miley finished off the game at quarterback, in place of Webb, and helped the visitors score twice during the final 10 minutes of play. Miley's first scoring strike was a 15-yard passing play to Michael Ruff just 59 seconds after Holloway found the end zone for the Flames.

The sophomore's second scoring pass was to Sean Adegbola in the far corner of the end zone, as the wide out just cleared enough space from a Flame defender to haul in the 29-yard pass with less than two minutes left on the game clock.

Liberty amassed almost 100 more total offensive yards than the Blue Hose in the second half (267 to 176), allowing the Flames to finish the game with a 429 to 340 edge in the team statistical category.
The Flames' rushing attack propelled the offensive explosion, as six different ball carriers helped Liberty rush for 232 yards and five touchdowns.

Liberty has finished with five or more rushing touchdowns in each of its last three home games and currently has 25 rushing touchdowns on the season, which ranks second nationally in terms of total team rushing touchdowns (Appalachian State leads the nation with 29 rushing scores).

Holloway and Allen both scored twice, with Holloway gaining 99 yards on 12 carries and Allen picking up 92 yards on 16 rushing attempts. Trandon Dendy was the leading Blue Hose rusher, as he picked up 52 yards on 13 carries.

Beecher managed the Flames' offense well during the contest, finishing the game 15-of-17 passing for 159 yards and two scores. Tyler Brennan finished the second half by completing 3-of-7 passes for 36 yards, while Mike Brown was 1-of-2 for two yards under center.

Webb was hampered most of the afternoon by Liberty's stout defense, as the senior completed just over half his passing attempts (16-of-30) for 183 yards, while being picked off twice. Miley finished off the game by completing 6-of-8 passes for 99 yards and two scores, while tossing the third Blue Hose interception of the game.

Mike Brown was Liberty's leading receiver with seven catches for 60 yards, while Quarles caught three passes for 51 yards and two scores to pace the Flames. Presbyterian was led by Patrick McKoy, who caught three balls for 61 yards.

Doncel Bolt was Liberty's leading tackler, as the middle linebacker finished the game with six tackles, including four solo stops. Tim Torrence, Cheek and Brent Vinson followed with five stops each to round out the Flames' top four stoppers.

Justin Bethel finished the game as the leading tacklers for either team, as the free safety completed the game with 11 tackles, including nine solo stops, 1.5 tackles for a loss (nine yards) and a shared sack (five yards).

Next weekend, the Flames will close out the home portion of their schedule, when Liberty hosts in-state foe VMI. The battle between the pair of Blue Ridge Mountain programs is slated to kick off at 7 p.m., from inside Williams Stadium.

The contest will be the final one inside the stadium under its current constraints, as the facility is set to expand to a seating capacity of 19,200 before the beginning of the 2010 season. The game will also mark the final home contest for 21 seniors on Liberty's roster.

Liberty leads the overall head-to-head series, 5-3, thanks to three-straight victories against the Keydets. Under head coach Danny Rocco, the Flames are a perfect 3-0 against the in-state program.

The last time the two teams tangled at Williams Stadium, Liberty exploded for 73 points, en route to a 73-34 victory on Nov. 1, 2007. Liberty had two special teams touchdowns and a fumble return for a score, while Brock Smith and Rashad Jennings were each responsible for three scores apiece.