DALLAS — It took a little time to get going, but once they did, the Liberty Christian Warriors were hard to stop as they concluded their regular season with a 31-14 victory over Dallas Bishop Lynch on Friday night.
The victory allowed Liberty to finish alone in third in TAPPS I-1 at 4-2.
The Warriors (7-3) are set to play host to San Antonio Central Catholic on Nov. 16 in a first-round game. Game time has yet to be determined.
Liberty Christian and Bishop Lynch (3-7, 1-5 district) played to a scoreless draw in the first quarter, as neither offense seemed to find a rhythm. Both defenses played well pursuing the football and breaking up passes.
But once the Warriors finally scored midway through the second quarter, they couldn’t stop, scoring on five straight possessions to take a 31-0 third-quarter lead.
Quarterback Colby Moore was at the center of it all, finishing 17-of-25 passing for 167 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 106 yards on 10 carries and two more scores.
Moore started the first scoring drive with a 23-yard run deep into Friars territory. Moore then connected with Drew Hunnicutt for an 11-yard pass and then ran for an 11-yard gain to the Lynch 5. Two plays later, Moore went in from the 1 to give Liberty a 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Moore and the offense went to work again. This time, Moore and Hunnicutt connected for a 24-yard touchdown with 2:40 left in the half, as a lapse in Lynch’s pass coverage allowed Hunnicutt to come free down the seam.
Feeling the pressure to get some points before halftime, the Friars took a shot and went for it on fourth-and-1 at the Warriors’ 38-yard line. But it cost them. Renner was sacked for a 17-yard loss, giving Liberty possession in Friars territory. From there, Moore calmly directed the Warriors into range for a 33-yard Cole Austin field goal and a 17-0 halftime lead.
The Warriors’ defense was stifling for the first three quarters, allowing fewer than 100 total yards in the first half and shutting down the Friars’ running game until it no longer mattered.
Unfortunately, for the Friars, the Warriors started the second half with the football and didn’t let up. A six-play scoring drive ended with Moore bursting through a seam off right tackle and darting upfield for a 40-yard TD run to give Liberty a 24-0 lead early in the third quarter.
The Warriors wrapped up their scoring on their next drive. JonAaron Howell’s 21-yard run nudged the Warriors into Lynch territory, and Moore tossed a 35-yard TD pass to Cody Hughes with 3:32 left in the third quarter.
The Friars avoided the shutout in the fourth quarter, when Anthony Andrade blitzed Liberty backup quarterback Nick Starkel and hit him as he threw. The ball floated into the arms of defensive lineman Josh Aguilar, who rumbled 26 yards for a touchdown with 8:39 to play in the fourth quarter. The Friars added a 5-yard touchdown run by Ini Akpobot with less than two minutes to play.
Liberty Christian 31, Dallas Bishop Lynch 14
LB — Colby Moore 1 run (Cole Austin kick)
LB — Drew Hunnicutt 24 pass from Colby Moore (Cole Austin kick)
LB — Cole Austin 33 FG
LB — Colby Moore 40 run (Cole Austin kick)
LB — Cody Hughes 35 pass from Colby Moore (Cole Austin kick)
BL — Josh Aguilar 26 interception return (Steven Biegel kick)
BL — Ini Akpabot 5 run (Steven Biegel kick)
Rushing — BL: Alex Lara 2-15, Barrett Renner 9-11, Kameron Jones 7-7, Ini Akpabot 4-7, LB: Colby Moore 10-106, JonAaron Howell 9-48, Ryan Vollenhals 5-14, Zach Keller 4-7, Will McClain 2-3, Dylan Hernandez 2-3, Hunter Griffith 1-1, Team Stat 1--1.
Passing — BL: Barrett Renner 17-41-1-177, LB: Colby Moore 17-25-1-167, Nick Starkel 2-5-1-14.
Receiving — BL: Tremel Glasper 6-83, Joe Gannon 5-56, Tristan Smith 1-21, Matthew Phoenix 2-9, Alex Lara 1-6, Kameron Jones 1-4, Ini Akpabot 1--2, LB: Cody Hughes 3-60, Drew Hunnicutt 2-35, Jalen Hurt 2-24, Jordan Brown 3-22, Gavin Menichini 2-13, Matt Marrs 1-8, JonAaron Howell 2-7, Hunter Griffith 2-7, Danny David Linahan 1-3, Will McClain 1-2.