SAN ANTONIO — A unified effort led Liberty Christian to a 42-17 victory Saturday over San Antonio Antonian in the TAPPS Division I area playoffs.
The Warriors (7-4) advance to face Addison Trinity Christian Academy at a time, date and site to be determined.
Liberty Christian amassed 487 yards and shut out Antonian’s high-powered offense in the second half. The Apaches (9-3) were held to 270 yards, while the Warriors had nine players combine to rush for 334 yards on 43 carries.
It was the fruition of a selfless philosophy Liberty Christian coach Greg Price has preached all season.
“Ephesians Chapter 4 says, ‘Each part does its work,’” Price said. “That’s what we try to do. We had a bunch of kids step up and do their jobs.”
The Warriors needed that unity against Sterling Holmes, Antonian’s standout running back. Holmes rushed for 240 yards on 28 carries but only scored on two first-half runs.
Liberty Christian struggled early to stop Holmes, who rushed for 103 yards on 10 carries in the first quarter. His final carry of the quarter was a 3-yard touchdown with 3:33 remaining.
Holmes rushed for 186 yards in the first half, helping the Apaches take a 17-10 lead.
“I didn’t think we’d ever slow that kid down,” Price said. “He just kept coming and coming. The defensive coaches did a great job of making some adjustments and saying, ‘What can we live with, what can we live without.’ We strengthened up the box a little bit and put another linebacker in there, but the kids made plays.”
The Warriors overwhelmed the Apaches’ defense in the second half, amassing 351 yards and scoring four touchdowns.
The offensive success forced Antonian away from Holmes and its running game. Holmes was limited to 54 yards on seven carries in the second half.
“We forced them into doing what they didn’t really want to do … throwing the football,” Price said. “They wanted to pound the ball, but we were able to take them out of their game.
After going three-and-out on their first possession of the second half, Liberty Christian scored on four of its next five possessions.
“When we came back out, our [offensive] line and our defense were going – we had that momentum,” Warriors running back Cameron Cornett said. “We were just excited to play the game. We just finished out that second half.”
Foster Ford accounted for three of those touchdowns, scoring on runs of 44 and 17 yards and teaming with Hunter Griffith on a 6-yard pass.
Ford finished with 92 yards rushing on five carries and completed 13 of 20 passes for 153 yards.
Griffith had eight receptions for 121 yards.
Cornett led the Warriors with 173 yards rushing on 13 carries, including a 15-yard touchdown for the game’s first score.
“It was all about the [offensive] line,” Cornett said. “They did a great job blocking. We came out strong in the first half, but that second half is what did it.”
Liberty Christian 42,
San Antonio Antonian 17
Liberty Christian 7 7 7 21 — 42
SA Antonian 7 10 0 0 — 17
L — Cameron Cornett 15 run (Mikael Sroka kick), 6:48
A — Sterling Holmes 3 run (Diego Valdes kick), 3:33
A — Diego Valdes 23 FG, 7:44
A — Sterling Holmes 9 run (Valdes kick), 3:44
L — Graham Richardson 78 kick return (Mikael Sroka kick), 3:30
L — Hunter Griffith 6 pass from Foster Ford (Mikael Sroka kick), 4:55
L — Foster Ford 44 run (Mikael Sroka kick), 10:37
L — JonAaron Howell 4 run (Mikael Sroka kick), 7:10
L — Foster Ford 17 run (Mikael Sroka kick), 3:20
First Downs 20 19
Rushes-yards 43-334 34-230
Comp-Att-Int 13-20-0 4-18-1
Passing yards 153 40
Total yards 487 270
Fumbles/Lost 0-0 1-1
Punts 1-49.0 6-37.5
Penalties-Yards 7-50 3-20
Rushing — L: Cameron Cornett 13-173, Foster Ford 5-92, JonAaron Howell 12-35, Matt Marrs 1-25, Hugh Jeffrey 3-6, Benn Hawkins 2-4, Zach Keller 4-4, Hunter Reece 2-3, Drew Hunnicutt 1-(-8). A: Sterling Holmes 28-240, Roland Salazar 2-5, Chad Tatum 2-(-6), Michael Mayer 2-(-9).
Passing — L: Foster Ford 13-20-0 153. A: Chad Tatum 4-14-1 40, Michael Mayer 0-4-0 0.
Receiving — L: Hunter Griffith 8-121, Mitchell Rowsell 2-16, Graham Richardson 2-11, Josiah Hartzler 1-5. A: Patrick Bibb 1-16, Max Heintzelman 1-14, Noah Burns 1-6, Sterling Holmes 1-4.