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Liberty Indians win Homecoming game

By Lori Brown
LIBERTY — October 26, 2010 — The fans were braving the cold by staying wrapped up in blankets and holding hot chocolate in their hands on Friday night as they cheered on their teams as the Liberty Indians hosted the Pine Plains Bombers in a non-league football game played under the lights on a frigid evening.
It was also Homecoming for Liberty, which the team celebrated with a 35-6 victory over the Bombers.
Liberty’s Jesse Hufnagel caught the opening kickoff at the Indians’ 25-yard line. He then ran 75 yards past the Pine Plains’ defenders to score a touchdown only 16 seconds into the game.
“My blockers did a great job,” Hufnagel said after the game.
The extra-point kick was no good, but Liberty had early 6-0 lead.
Pine Plains (2-6) answered when Mark Kotzur ran for a 3-yard touchdown with 4:24 remaining in the first quarter to tie the score at 6-6.
Early the second quarter, Liberty quarterback Marshon Williams threw a 25-yard TD pass to Efrain Baez. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, so the Indians held a 12-6 advantage with 6:55 left in the quarter.
On the subsequent kickoff, Liberty’s Tino Casiano booted an onsides kick, which teammate Javier Baez recovered around the Pine Plains 25. Williams then threw his second 25-yard pass TD pass of the game, this time to Javier Baez. Williams ran up the middle for the two-point conversion, which extended the Indians’ lead to 20-6 with 5:53 left until halftime.
At the start of the third quarter, Hufnagel came in at the quarterback to finish up the game. With 4:03 remaining in the quarter, he ran up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown. Casiano delivered the PAT kick to give Liberty (6-2) a 27-6 lead.
Just five seconds into the fourth quarter, Javier Baez made a diving catch on a pass from Hufnagel for a 10-yard touchdown. Hufnagel then ran in for the two-point conversion to make it a 35-6 game.
“We started off pretty rough,” Pine Plains Coach Jim Jackson said. “We made errors and dumb mistakes. We hung in there and played hard all game. I am pleased with their attitude, they played from the heart, which shows character.
“Mark Kotzur ran the ball well and had several tackles,” Jackson added. “Ricky Hill played defense really well as a defensive end. Tom Canevari played really well tonight.”
The Liberty coaches and players were happy to end the regular season with a victory. The Indians’ next game will be this Friday, Oct. 30 in a Section IX Class C semifinal against the Millbrook Blazers at 4 p.m. at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.
“If we win, we play the winner of the Tri-Valley-Burke game,” Wilhelm said.
“We played pretty sloppy in the beginning [of tonight’s game],” he continued.
Wilhelm thought maybe the Indians weren’t focused because of the pep rally and the other Homecoming festivities.
“I hope they play better next week, because we are here to win,” he said. “The Pine Plains kids played hard and they were hitting us hard.”
Williams led the Liberty rushing attack with nine carries for 63 yards. Soto had nine carries for 32 yards, Anthony Covington gained 26 yards on five carries and Efrain Baez had 17 yards on three carries.
Williams completed 6 of 12 passes for 96 yards. Hufnagel completed 3 of 4 passes for 42 yards.
Javier Baez was the Indians’ top receiver with three receptions for 52 yards. Efrain Baez made two catches for 30 yards and Covington caught two passes for 22 yards. In addition, Ryan Henry had one reception for 22 yards and Joe Franke had one reception for 12 yards.
During a halftime ceremony, the seniors from all of the Liberty fall sports teams were recognized and given flowers. The seniors on the football team include David Camacho, Quentin Granum, Travis Johnson, Adalberto Ponce, Patrick Powell, Jon Ramirez, Chris Sarno, Emirsen Shehi, Eddie Soto and Gabe Vazquez.

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