By Melissa Cohen
LIBERTY Saturday’s football showdown between Liberty and visiting Sullivan West determined which team would advance to the Section IX Class C playoffs.
With the seemingly unstoppable speed of Eddie Soto, who rushed for 298 yards on 22 carries, and scored four touchdowns one of which was an 80-yard rush to the end zone in the second quarter Liberty sailed smoothly to a 26-12 victory in the Class C Division I game.
The Indians are set to face Millbrook in a Class C semifinal game at 4 p.m on Friday, Oct. 29 at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.
Liberty’s Daniel Hopkins helped freeze the SW offense cold in its tracks with five tackles and one sack.
Despite a solid effort by SW (3-4, 1-2 Class C) in the fourth quarter to advance down the field, Liberty 5-2, 2-1 Class C) shut down all opportunities thanks to a Javier Baez interception.
Baez also had five tackles on the afternoon.
Indians’ quarterback Marshon Williams passed for 26 yards.
On defense, Williams made six tackles. One of those tackles was a proverbial brick wall shutdown of the Bulldogs’ Kitt Borowski after he made a clean catch and was set to penetrate up the left side, potentially resulting in a clean break for a touchdown.
Liberty Coach John Wilhelm congratulated the team after the victory.
“You laid it on the line,” he said to his players. “Enjoy this tonight, but be ready to come back Monday to work.”
Liberty Assistant Coach Ryan Baldock gave credit to the Bulldogs.
“They played hard,” he said. “We have a great mutual respect for each other.”
SW Coach Ron Bauer gave credit to the Indians, who he referred to as being “physically bigger” than his team. Bauer also gave praise to Bulldogs Ryan Alsdorf and Brandon Wagner on their solid effort.
“We have a lot of inexperience on our line and will be looking to hit up the weight room for next year,” Bauer said.