GRAND PRAIRIE — Big plays and turnovers keyed Liberty Christian’s 40-0 win over Arlington Grace Prep on Friday.
The Warriors (3-1) lived off long touchdowns, scoring five of their six from more than 50 yards out. Meanwhile, the Warriors forced Grace Prep (0-4) quarterback Jacob McDaniel into six interceptions, two of which Liberty returned for touchdowns.
Liberty quarterback Colby Moore threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns and ran in a 68-yard score in the fourth quarter. Jon Aaron Howell scored twice in the third quarter — once on a 49-yard touchdown run and once on a 69-yard reception for a 27-0 lead.
Kyleb Howell and Cole Irwin returned interceptions of 56 and 44 yards, respectively, for touchdowns. Cody Hughes led Liberty with three receptions, including a 69-yard score.
Liberty put 14 points on the board in the first quarter to take control of the contest. A busted screen play resulted in McDaniel throwing an interception to Howell. He raced 56 yards through the Lions for a touchdown to give the Warriors a 7-0 lead with 9:42 left in the first quarter.
Near the end of the first quarter, the Warriors doubled the lead. Moore eluded a pair of Lions pass rushers, stepped up in the pocket and connected with Hughes down the middle of the field. Hughes caught the ball in stride, bobbled it slightly while trying to gather it and then beat the cornerback in a foot race for the end zone.
The Lions were peskier than the score would indicate, as they played good defense and received solid rushing games from Tyler Teal (96 yards) and Brad Horner (68 yards).
But Grace Prep was unable to avoid giving up big plays on both sides of the football, as Liberty gained 255 of its 385 total yards on touchdowns. Several first-half drives that seeped into Warriors territory sputtered due to mistakes, as McDaniel threw four first-half interceptions. Dakota Sanchez, Howell and Drew Hunnicutt all registered picks for Liberty.
Howell’s and Hunnicutt’s were costly for the Lions, as they were inside the Warriors’ 20-yard line and looking to score. Hunnicutt had a second pick in the third quarter.
Liberty had one miscue, as wide receiver Justus Lee was stripped deep in Lions territory and Grace Prep’s Blayne Champlin recovered it and returned it to near midfield.
Liberty Christian 40, Arlington Grace Prep 0
Arlington Grace Prep
LB — Kyleb Howell 56 interception return (Cole Austin kick)
LB — Cody Hughes 69 pass from Colby Moore (Cole Austin kick)
LB — JonAaron Howell 49 run (kick failed)
LB — JonAaron Howell 69 pass from Colby Moore (Cole Austin kick)
LB — Colby Moore 68 run (Cole Austin kick)
LB — Cole Irwin 44 interception return (kick failed)
Rushing — GR: Tyler Teal 19-96, Brad Horner 12-68, Elijah McIntyre 1-7, Jacob McDaniel 9--23, LB: JonAaron Howell 8-64, Colby Moore 5-62, Zach Keller 3-17, Hunter Griffith 2-15.
Passing — GR: Jacob McDaniel 10-25-6-70, LB: Colby Moore 11-19-0-208, Nick Starkel 1-1-0-19.
Receiving — GR: Blayne Champlin 4-33, Elijah McIntyre 4-23, Kolby Kunasek 2-14, LB: Cody Hughes 3-84, JonAaron Howell 1-69, Justus Lee 1-29, Nelson Nicholson 1-19, Danny David Linahan 2-17, Jordan Brown 1-5, Gavin Menichini 2-4, Zach Keller 1-0.