Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Football: Liberty survives Houston Christian
MART - Both the halftime scoreboard and the biting north wind gave Liberty Christian discomfort. But the Warriors overcame both challenges to defeat Houston Christian 42-14 in the first round of the TAPPS Division I playoffs.
"We figured we would be going into the wind in the third quarter," Liberty head coach Greg Price said. "We tried to eat the clock as much as we could and let Houston Christian face the wind in the fourth quarter."
Trailing 14-7 at halftime, Liberty Christian (9-2) opened the third quarter 80 yards away from the end zone and facing a 30 mph wind. The Warriors stuck with their ground game and tied the score with a six-play touchdown drive. Jared Lawson, who had scored the Warriors' first touchdown on a 26-yard burst in the first quarter, collected the final 30 yards on a scamper up the middle.
"Every one of our running backs wants to be in the end zone," Price said. "The offensive line said just to pound it because we had them."
Lawson supplied the majority of Liberty Christian's 455 offensive yards, rushing for 209 yards on 21 carries and scoring four touchdowns.
"It was a tough game," Lawson said. "We haven't battled through adversity much like that."
The Warriors used a bit of razzle-dazzle to take the lead on their next possession. After forcing a Houston Christian punt, Brett Metzler fielded the ball and handed off to Lawson on the reverse.
Lawson broke down the right sideline for 40 yards, setting up Liberty Christian at the Mustang 36. Four plays later, Lawson broke two tackles on the right side and scooted into the end zone from 11 yards out to put the Warriors in front 20-14.
The Warriors collected two fourth-quarter touchdowns via Houston Christian turnovers. The Mustangs faked a punt on fourth-and-5 from their own 25, but Tristan Morris threw an incomplete pass. Lawson scored his fourth touchdown on the next play.
On Houston Christian's next possession, Corey Dodd intercepted Sam Voncannon and returned the pick 8 yards to the Mustang 26. One play later, Josh Cousins connected with Simms in the right corner of the end zone for the Warriors' final score.
Houston Christian took the 14-7 lead on the final play of the first half as Voncannon connected with Dale Wallace on a fade route. But Liberty Christian's defense held the Mustangs in check the rest of the game, limiting Houston Christian (4-6) to 88 yards in the second half.
"I was very proud of our defense tonight," Price said. "The defensive coaches put in a great plan, and everybody did a great job."
Liberty Christian 42, Houston Christian 14
Liberty Christian 7 0 21 14 - 42
Houston Christian 0 14 0 0 - 14
LC - Jared Lawson 26 run (Dakotah Jesel kick), 3:51
HC - Zach Finger 8 run (Dale Wallace kick), 11:21
HC - Wallace 12 pass from Sam Voncannon (Wallace kick), 0:00
LC - Lawson 30 run (Jesel kick), 9:14
LC - Lawson 11 run (kick failed), 5:27
LC - Corey Dodd 1 run (Brett Metzler pass from Josh Cousins), 0:00
LC - Lawson 25 run (Jesel kick), 10:17
LC - Trevor Simms 26 pass from Cousins (Jesel kick), 10:02