FORT WORTH — Liberty Christian lost a crucial TAPPS 1-A district match to Fort Worth Nolan Catholic 41-31 in a game controlled early on by the offense.
Each team entered the game with a 3-1 district record, with both Liberty and Nolan having lost to district leader Plano Prestonwood.
With the win over Liberty (6-3, 3-2) and a loss by Dallas Bishop Dunne (5-5, 2-4), Nolan (6-4, 4-1) secured the No. 2 seed in the district.
“Our district is so tight that you could put any of these teams, shake them up and it could be [ranked] one through five,” Nolan head coach Joe Prud’homme said.
Liberty and Nolan traded big runs and touchdowns early on, combining for more than 600 yards on the ground. Liberty quarterback Colby Moore ran for a game-high 195 yards and a score on 16 attempts, while throwing 11 for 26 with 128 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
“I thought he did a great job delivering the football, even though we had a few drops here and there,” Liberty head coach Greg Price said.
Down 28-14 with 5:38 left before halftime, Liberty methodically drove down the field into Nolan territory, converting a key fourth-and-6. JonAaron Howell finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run that pulled Liberty within a score and left Nolan with just 1:35 on the clock.
But a short kick gave Nolan good starting field position at the 40-yard line. Quarterback Jacob Walden sprung loose for a 47-yard run and, two plays later, a 2-yard score to put Nolan up 35-21, regaining its momentum.
“It was really deflating,” Price said. “We had cut it to a one-score game, and who knows. We came out in the second half and played the defense that we wanted, giving up two field goals.”
Nolan was led by Luke Alves, who carried the ball 19 times for 187 yards and two touchdowns. Although quarterback Jacob Walden completed just one of six passes for 4 yards, he ran for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
A fifth touchdown was scored by David Authier, who finished with 11 carries for 65 yards.
Liberty Christian completes its regular season next week at Bishop Lynch. Regardless of the result, the Warriors will finish in third place in the district.
Fort Worth Nolan 41, Liberty Christian 31
NH — Luke Alves 2 run (Grant Muehlstein kick)
LB — Justus Lee 31 pass from Colby Moore (Cole Austin kick)
NH — Luke Alves 40 run (Grant Muehlstein kick)
NH — David Authier 36 run (Grant Muehlstein kick)
LB — Colby Moore 40 run (Cole Austin kick)
NH — Jacob Walden 24 run (Grant Muehlstein kick)
LB — JonAaron Howell 7 run (Cole Austin kick)
NH — Jacob Walden 2 run (Grant Muehlstein kick)
LB — Cole Austin 24 FG
NH — Grant Muehlstein 27 FG
NH — Grant Muehlstein 25 FG
LB — JonAaron Howell 5 run (Cole Austin kick)
Rushing — LB: Colby Moore 16-195, JonAaron Howell 11-49, Cody Hughes 1-11, Ryan Vollenhals 1-4, NH: Luke Alves 19-187, Jacob Walden 10-83, David Authier 11-65, Ty Coleman 2-21.
Passing — LB: Colby Moore 11-26-2-128, NH: Jacob Walden 1-6-0-4.
Receiving — LB: Justus Lee 4-81, Cody Hughes 3-31, JonAaron Howell 1-8, Hunter Griffith 2-8, Jordan Brown 1-8, Danny David Linahan 1-0, NH: David Authier 1-4.