By Rob Potter
LIBERTY With 8:58 remaining in the second quarter of last Saturday afternoon’s non-league football game at Liberty Central School, the host Liberty Indians held a 7-6 lead over the Delhi Bulldogs.
But the Indians scored two touchdowns in the remaining minutes of the quarter to take a 20-6 advantage at halftime.
Liberty added to its lead in the second half to record a 54-22 victory over the Bulldogs.
Those two second quarter TDs were scored by senior running back Anthony Covington and senior quarterback Marshon Williams. Covington scored on a 5-yard run with 3:48 remaining in the quarter. Williams dove into the end zone from a yard away with 40.9 seconds left until the intermission.
Liberty (1-0) took a 7-0 lead when Covington ran 55 yards for a touchdown and Ryan Henry made the extra-point kick with 5:55 left in the first quarter.
Delhi (0-1) cut that lead to a single point at 7-6 with 8:58 to go in the second quarter as senior running back Tom Telian ran 4 yards for a touchdown. The Bulldogs then attempted to make a two-point conversion to take the lead. But Liberty defensive end Daniel Ramirez tackled Brian Ingram in the backfield to preserve the Indians’ one-point advantage.
The Indians scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to extend their lead to 40-14. At the 9:19 mark, Kenny Jaycox ran for a 45-yard TD. With 6:58 displayed on the clock, Williams ran for a 73-yard TD. Then with 1:50 left in the quarter, Williams threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Joe Franke.
The Bulldogs’ recorded one touchdown in the third quarter. With 3:31 to go, Ben Denison threw an 11-yard TD pass to Brandon Simonds. Ingram then ran for the two-point conversion, which cut the Liberty lead to 33-14.
Less than a minute into the fourth quarter, Covington ran for a 33-yard touchdown and Henry made the PAT kick to increase the Indians’ advantage to 47-14.
Delhi answered with 9:27 remaining in the game. Denison connected with Simonds on a 55-yard touchdown pass to make it a 47-20 game. Eli Wright then ran for the two-point conversion.
Liberty scored the final touchdown of the game with 4:58 left. Quinn Jackson threw a 40-yard TD pass to Williams and Henry added the PAT kick to give the Indians a 54-22 advantage.
Williams and Covington led the Indians’ rushing attack. Williams ran 10 times for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Covington had 10 carries for 118 yards and three TDs.
Jaycox had six carries for 87 yards and a touchdown. Jackson gained 33 yards on six carries and Franke ran twice for 12 yards
Williams and Jackson both lined up at quarterback for Liberty. Williams completed 8 of 11 passes for 114 yards. He threw one touchdown and had one interception.
Jackson completed the only pass he threw for a 40-yard touchdown.
Ryan Henry made two catches for 44 yards to lead the Liberty receivers, while Javier Baez and Efrain Baez each made two catches for the Indians. Javier Baez gained 14 yards on his two receptions, while Efrain Baez gained 16 yards on his two receptions.
“It was a good effort,” Liberty Coach John Wilhelm said. “It was hot today, so that made it tough. But I think they got more tired than we did.
“We were able to move the ball pretty well on offense,” Wilhelm added. “And defensively we played well.
“We got a lot of kids in to play, which is good,” he concluded. “It was our first game and overall I was pleased.”
Delhi Coach Dave Kelly, who is beginning his 46th season of guiding the Bulldogs, noted that his team had some problems on offense.
“We had some trouble running our offense,” Kelly said. “We weren’t able to move the ball very effectively. We had a pretty good game plan, but we weren’t able to execute it.
“Liberty is a tough team,” he continued. “They’ve got size, they can move the ball on offense and they play good defense.”
Kelly did see some positives from his team.
“We moved the ball better in the second half,” he commented.
Despite the loss, Kelly is optimistic about the rest of the Bulldogs’ season.
“We have five seniors who are providing leadership,” he said. “When the players who were on the JV team last season get more comfortable with our system, then we will improve.”