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Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

Pierce City Eagles roll 44-6 over Liberal Bulldogs

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

(Photo)
Breaking away. Cedric O'Hara, Pierce City's quarterback looks for some running room during the Eagles' 44-6 romp over Liberal on Friday. O'Hara had 46 yards on the evening. [Photo by Traci Osborn]
The Pierce City Eagles have a large and experienced offensive line, and it showed at Liberal on Friday.

The line opened holes big enough to drive a truck through and Pierce City had a truck in fullback Curtis Palmer who rumbled through to the tune of 135 yards in the first half, including an 82-yard touchdown. Wayne Joe Sooter also had 130 yards in the first half and quarterback Cedric O'Hara also added 46 yards rushing on the way to a 44-6 victory for the Eagles.

The Eagles won the toss and elected to kick. On Liberal's first possession, quarterback Reed Kirby handed off to running back Dillon Coleman, but Zach Crouch dropped him in the backfield for a four-yard loss. Two pass attempts ended in sacks by Palmer for 11 and six-yard losses. Liberal was forced to punt. It wouldn't get much better for the Bulldog offense. They gained only one first down in the first half.

(Photo)
Turning up the pressure. Pierce City's Wayne Joe Sooter sacks the Liberal quarterback during first half action of Friday's win over the Bulldogs. Sooter had 130 yards rushing in the first half. [Photo by Traci Osborn]
Pierce City took over on offense at the Liberal 49-yard line and played smash-mouth football. Runs up the middle by Palmer of 10, eight and nine yards and Sooter of 11 and four yards set up the seven-yard Sooter touchdown run. The drive took less than four minutes. The extra point kick was wide left, and Pierce City was up 6-0.

Liberal took over at its own 35. After a sack by Jacob Smith for a seven-yard loss, the Bulldogs were again forced to punt.

Pierce City marched the ball down the field but a costly fumble on the Liberal 20 resulted in a turnover at the Bulldog's 24-yard line.

After an incomplete pass, a sack by Crouch and a tackle for a six-yard loss by Michael Vincent, Liberal was again forced to punt from their own end zone.

The Eagles ran the punt back to the Liberal 22-yard line. An eight-yard run by Palmer set up a 22-yard touchdown scamper by Sooter. Pierce City went for two, and Sooter went in untouched on an option to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead.

After the ensuing kick-off, Liberal gained their only first down of the half, but the drive stalled after an incomplete pass and a sack by Jason Cutberth. Liberal punted again.

A penalty on the Eagles left them deep in their own territory on the 18-yard line.

On the first play from scrimmage, center Madison Deems and guards Crouch and Logan Deems opened a huge hole in the middle, and Palmer took the handoff 15 yards without being touched. He trucked one defender, gave another a vicious stiff-arm and outran two more for the 82-yard touchdown. A pass from O'Hara to Zach Hyde was good for the two-point conversion and Pierce City led 22-0.

Liberal's next drive stalled after a holding penalty and a sack by Sooter. After the punt the Eagles moved the ball but two sacks and a delay of game penalty caused a turnover on downs at the Liberal 29-yard line.

Two holding penalties and a bad snap forced a Bulldog punt, and the Eagles took over at the Bulldog 40.

Pierce City moved the ball well in the ensuing drive, but it appeared time had expired in the half on a scramble by O'Hara. A late hit out of bounds gave the Eagles one more opportunity from the Bulldog 6 and they took advantage of it with Sooter taking the ball in for the score. The two-point conversion on an O'Hara option was good. Pierce City led 30-0 at the half.

On the opening drive of the second half, Pierce City had their most impressive drive of the night. Assisted by a Liberal penalty, the Eagles took the ball 62 yards in four minutes ending in a 26-yard Sooter touchdown. The Eagles again went for two, and O'Hara ran it in for the conversion.

Up 38-0, Coach Mac Whitehead took his foot off the gas and rested his starters except for center Madison Deems who played every snap.

Liberal was able to manage one score against the second unit on a 38-yard run by Coleman. The two-point conversion failed, and the score was 38-6 Pierce City.

A Liberal fumble in the end zone in the fourth quarter was recovered by Sam Crow for the final score of the game. The two-point conversion failed.

"I thought we played a pretty bad game," Coach Whitehead said. "We set our goals for this game to have no turnovers and no penalties. It was a good win for us, but we had a lot of mistakes that would cost us against a tough opponent."

Several procedure and false start penalties against the Eagles disappointed Coach Whitehead.

"We didn't have enough men on the field once, and we didn't know where to line up a couple of times," he said. "That is the coaches fault, and we'll go back and watch film Monday and get that fixed."

Coach Whitehead was pleased with his younger players.

"It's great knowing that we can put in our young guys and know they'll get the job done," he said. "The reason we are as good as we are is because they give us such a good look in practice. It was great to get to reward them for all their hard work by giving them some playing time tonight."

Coach Whitehead did find some bright spots.

"When we execute we are a great football team," he said. "When we don't get a lot of mistakes, we can really move the football."

The Eagles go to Diamond for their next game.

"Diamond is a good team," Whitehead said. "They run an offense like Sarcoxie so already playing Sarcoxie should help us prepare. We look forward to a good game."



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