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Spackenkill Kills Liberty

By Rob Potter
LIBERTY — October 12, 2001 – Despite scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s game, the Liberty football team could not record its first victory of the season.
Visiting Spackenkill was able to hang on for a 28-27 victory in the Section IX Class C contest.
With only four minutes left in the game, Liberty quarterback Andrew Riegler connected with Zach Nackley on a 16-yard touchdown pass.
But the ensuing PAT kick, which would have tied the game, sailed wide right.
After the Liberty (0-5, 0-1 Class C) defense stopped the following Spackenkill drive, the Indian offense had one last possession. With 1:30 left on the clock, the Indians took possession on their own 35-yard-line.
The next three plays did not gain enough yards for another first down and the Indians were faced with a crucial fourth down situation. Riegler was sacked while dropping back to pass, giving the ball back to Spackenkill.
Spackenkill then ran out the few remaining seconds to preserve the win.
“It was the only sack we gave up all day, but it came at an inopportune time,” Liberty coach Mike Castelli said.
Despite the loss, Castelli saw some positives from his team. He noted the way the Indians did not let a fumble on their first possession that resulted in a Spackenkill touchdown affect them too much and scored three touchdowns themselves in the final 12 minutes of play.
“The guys are finally starting to come together as a team,” Castelli said. “We had a good week of practice prior to the game and we were all on the same page (for the gameplan).”
Tailback Eleazer Buck led the Liberty offense, carrying the ball eight times for 114 yards. He had touchdown runs of 7, 25 and 75 yards.
“Eleazer ran really well and the offensive line did a great job,” Castelli said.
The Indians will travel to Tri-Valley tomorrow for a non-league game. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m.
And Castelli is confident his squad will take the lessons of the Spackenkill game with them.
“The kids are starting to believe in themselves,” he commented. “Hopefully, that will continue the rest of the season.”

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