ARGYLE — The Liberty Christian Warriors' win Friday night was as big as the legendary Texas homecoming mums on the sidelines.
Nate Hayden threw three touchdown passes, Andre Washington and Ty Baran each scored twice and Kason Howell returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown to lead to the Warriors to a dominating 50-0 victory against Plano John Paul II.
The Warriors (3-2, 1-1 TAPPS District 1-1) were in control from the start, utilizing a balanced, quick-strike offense and a suffocating defense.
Hayden directed the Warriors to scores on their first three possessions and finished with 189 yards passing and an interception, all in the first half as they built a 36-0 lead. Washington also did all of his work in the first half, rushing eight times for 123 yards, including a 51-yard score.
Howell's interception return for a touchdown on the first series of the second half extended the Warriors' lead to 43-0, and backup quarterback Grant Galyean put the exclamation point on the homecoming night victory with a 12-yard scoring strike to Baron.
John Paul (2-3, 0-2) was held to one first down and 19 yards of total offense in the first half. The Cardinals crossed midfield only once, putting together a 16-play, 60-yard drive late in the game. They had first-and-goal at the 6, but they could not score in the closing seconds as the Warriors defense held on fourth down from the 7.
The Warriors dominated in every aspect in the first half, finishing with 332 yards of total offense, 189 passing and 143 rushing. They didn't let up in the second half and finished with 357 yards of total offense while holding John Paul to 96.
The Warriors were extremely efficient in the first quarter. They opened the game with a nine-play, 69 yard drive capped by Washington's 2-yard run. On their next possession, Hayden threw to Cole Groce in the left flat from their 12-yard line. The receiver cut back to the middle of the field and broke several tackles on his way to an 88-yard touchdown. Groce finished the game with three catches for 157 yards.
Hayden capped the first-quarter outburst with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Moran.
The Warriors had two excellent scoring opportunities early in the second quarter, but a penalty wiped out what would have been a 40-yard touchdown run, and the second opportunity was erased when John Paul's Lucas Stradford intercepted Hayden at the goal line.
The Warriors closed out the half on Washington's 51-yard scoring run and Hayden's 17-yard touchdown pass to Baron, a play set up by Connor Payton's interception.
Liberty Christian 50, John Paul II 0
|John Paul II||0||0||0||0||--||0|
|Arg. Liberty Chr.||21||15||7||7||--||50|
LB -- Andre Washington 2 run (Cameron Baller kick)
LB -- Cole Groce 88 pass from Nate Hayden (Cameron Baller kick)
LB -- Garrett Moran 16 pass from Nate Hayden (Cameron Baller kick)
LB -- Andre Washington 51 run (Cameron Baller kick)
LB -- Ty Baran 17 pass from Nate Hayden (Michael Hulke pass from Cameron Baller)
LB -- Kason Howell 60 punt return (Cameron Baller kick)
LB -- Ty Baran 12 pass from Grant Galyean (Cameron Baller kick)
Rushing -- JP: Jackson Garrett 20-55, Garrett Dawson 13-49, Andrew Barenberg 6--24, LB: Andre Washington 8-123, Kade Johnson 4-20, Jackson McCullough 1-11, Ty Strickland 2-2.
Passing -- JP: Andrew Barenberg 4-10-2-16, LB: Nate Hayden 7-15-1-189, Grant Galyean 1-2-0-12.
Receiving -- JP: Evan Record 1-6, Luke Hyslop 1-5, DJ Johnson 1-4, Jackson Garrett 1-1, LB: Cole Groce 3-137, Ty Baran 2-29, Garrett Moran 1-16, Michael Hulke 1-13, Blake Galan 1-6.