Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Football: Liberty shuts out El Paso Cathedral
ARGYLE -- In a final nondistrict tune-up before entering the TAPPS Division I playoffs, Liberty Christian cruised to a 35-0 victory over El Paso Cathedral on Friday night at Bowles Stadium.
With the victory, Liberty was able to play a lot of seniors in their final home game and many of their junior varsity players in the second half.
"Going into the game, we wanted to be realistic about our expectations, and our hope was that if we took care of business, we'd be able to get a lot of guys into the game, especially our seniors who would be out on that field for the last time in their careers," said Liberty Christian head coach Greg Price.
In the opening quarter, Liberty (8-2) forced a fumble from El Paso Cathedral quarterback Diego Bermudez that was recovered by linebacker Brett Metzler at the El Paso 39. The Warriors went up 7-0 seven plays later when Josh Cousins ran the ball in on a bootleg keeper around the corner from the 9-yard line.
The Warrior defense made a big stop as the Fighting Irish (4-6) were driving late in the second quarter. El Paso Cathedral had a third-and-1 from the Liberty 23-yard line and fullback Jacob Martinez could not convert on two consecutive runs as the Warrior defense held. That stand by the Warriors completely turned the momentum in favor of Liberty.
The Liberty offense responded with a quick, two-play, 77-yard drive that extended the lead to 14-0. Metzler had breakaway runs of 42 and 35 yards on the drive.
"Cathedral played really hard, but when I got in there, the line opened up the holes really well," Metzler said. "And there was great blocking in the secondary for me on those runs."
Liberty forced El Paso to punt on its next possession, and the Warriors took over at their 21-yard line. Jared Lawson ran the first play for 25 yards, but a penalty brought the ball back to the 36. Cousins connected with Rylee Brown for two passes to get the Warriors to the 50. Cousins then found wide receiver Trevor Simms across the middle and he raced downfield until he was tackled at the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Cousins found Metzler out of the backfield for a 1-yard touchdown pass with less than one minute to play in the half. Liberty went into halftime with a 21-0 lead.
The El Paso Cathedral offense ran 17 plays in Liberty territory in the first half, but the Fighting Irish were not able to put any points on the board. The Warriors also outgained the Fighting Irish 245 yards to 101 in the first half.
The ground game was effective, with Lawson leading the Warriors with 107 yards rushing on nine carries to go along with 77 yards from Metzler. Daniel Sauter led El Paso Cathedral with 123 yards on 25 carries.
"Our defense did a good job of giving us favorable field position and we were able to keep them from scoring points," Price said. "We've been working hard to improve our defense the last couple of weeks and it was our goal to get a shutout and close out our home field with that kind of a defensive effort."
In the second half, the Warriors added two touchdown passes to push the lead to 35-0. The first was a 4-yard pass from Eric Watts to Dylan Sprock. Brown then caught a 28-yard pass from Aaron Deaver late in the fourth quarter.
Liberty Christian will play Houston Christian in Mart next Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
Liberty Christian 35, El Paso Cathedral 0
El Paso Cathedral 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Liberty Christian 7 14 7 7 -- 35
LC-Josh Cousins 9 run (Dakotah Jesel kick), 11:13
LC-Brett Metzler 35 run (Jesel kick), 3:08
LC-Metzler 1 pass from Josh Cousins (Jesel kick), 0:58
LC-Dylan Sprock 4 pass from Eric Watts (Jesel kick), 2:41
LC-Rylee Brown 28 pass from Aaron Deaver (Jesel kick), 2:01
First Downs 14 20
Rushing yards 42-135 25-264
Passing yards 79 220
Total yards 214 484
Comp-att-int 7-17-0 18-35-0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-0
Punts-avg 6-28.3 2-32.5
Penalties-yds 3-20 7-55
Rushing: EPC - Daniel Sauter 25-123, Jacob Martinez 9-30, Diego Bermudez 8-(-18). LC - Jared Lawson 9-107, Brett Metzler 2-77, Josh Cousins 3-10, Tim Douglass 2-28, Cameron Balkey 1-0, Corey Dodd 4-39, Eric Watts 3-2, Gavin Menechini 1-0, Foster Ford 1-1.
Passing: EPC - Diego Bermudez 7-16-0-79, Daniel Sauter 0-1-0-0. LC - Josh Cousins 8-16-0-109. Eric Watts 4-5-0-47, Preston Compton 5-12-0-36, Aaron Deaver 1-2-0-28.
Receiving: EPC - Isaac Chavarria 1-13, Taylor Pittard 2-22, Jacob Martinez 4-44. LC - Rylee Brown 7-76, Trevor Simms 2-61, Brett Metzler 1-1, Tim Douglass 2-27, Dylan Sprock 1-3, Caden Compton 4-35, Daniel Loch 1-17.