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Football: Miscues doom Liberty

Profile image for By Matthew Postins / For the Denton Record-Chronicle
By Matthew Postins / For the Denton Record-Chronicle

FRISCO — Big plays and turnovers destroyed Liberty Christian’s chances of advancing in the TAPPS playoffs Saturday afternoon.

While committing eight turnovers and letting Addison Trinity Christian find big holes in their defense for huge scoring plays, the Warriors fell 55-10 in a second-round playoff contest at Frisco ISD Memorial Stadium.

The Trojans (10-2) move on to face either Houston St. Thomas or Dallas Bishop Lynch next week. Liberty (7-5) sees its season end in the second round of the playoffs for the second straight year.

This one hurt. Down 28-10 at halftime, Warriors head coach Greg Price felt they were still in the game. Earlier this season the two teams had played a tight duel, with Trinity winning by seven. The Warriors had only committed one turnover and quarterback Foster Ford, who missed two possessions in the first quarter with an elbow injury, was getting feeling back in his throwing hand.

Plus, Liberty had dodged a couple of bullets late in the second quarter, thanks to some heady play by the defense and two ill-timed penalties by the Trojans on long scoring plays.

“We put the fire out a couple of different times,” Price said. “We felt at half that if we could give ourselves a chance and change the course of the game, it wasn’t too far out of reach.”

The game got away from Liberty after intermission. The Warriors committed seven turnovers in the second half and went three-and-out on their first two drives of the third quarter. But the Warriors forced Trinity three-and-out on its first two possessions as well.

Liberty’s third possession ended with a fumble by JonAaron Howell at the Trinity 34. The Trojans turned that into a 67-yard touchdown pass.

From there, the Warriors turned it over on six of their final seven possessions.

With the turnovers, the Trojans kept piling on points. By the end of the game, Trinity had six scoring plays of 30 yards or more.

“They didn’t do anything we weren’t expecting,” Price said. “They have great players over there, and they made great plays.”

Trinity quarterback Daniel Davidson threw for 467 yards and four touchdowns, while running back Nanshon Ellerbe rushed for 107 yards and four touchdowns and caught two passes for 130 yards and another touchdown. Wide receiver Tanner Snow caught four passes for 146 yards and a touchdown. The Trojans finished with 632 total yards.

Ford injured his elbow with Liberty down 7-0 in the first quarter. Ford gained 4 yards on a third-and-1 play near midfield, but his right elbow hit a defender’s helmet, causing him to lose feeling in his throwing hand. Ford came off the field and for two possessions tried to regain his ability to grip the ball. Liberty turned that drive into a Mikael Sroka field goal.

But while Ford was on the sideline, the Trojans took a 21-3 lead, thanks to Ellerbe’s 78-yard touchdown reception and 7-yard touchdown run.

Ford led the Warriors to a touchdown drive upon his return, culminating with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Cody Hughes. But that was the end of the scoring for the Warriors.

Ford was only 6-of-19 passing for 30 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. The running game was the best thing the Warriors had going Saturday, with Camron Cornett rushing for 136 yards. But the Warriors were unable to sustain drives, thanks to turnovers.