Liberty County football coach Kirk Warner had said the game against Benedictine should be viewed as a precursor to the postseason.
The Panthers will need to do better after falling, 44-13, Friday in a non-region contest at Donell Woods Stadium.
Warner knew BC quarterback Stevie Powers was a threat. After all, he led the Cadets to the state semifinals last year while posting 1,500 passing yards.
Just two games into the season, Powers, who went 16 for 21 for 284 passing yards and four touchdowns Friday, already is a third of the way to matching last year’s total. BC has 558 passing yards.
For the Panthers, Walker Franklin had a tough night, tossing three interceptions. He finished the night 8 for 19 for 105 passing yards and a touchdown.
The Cadets also dominated the rushing game. BC pounded the pavement for 292 yards on 37 carries.
Meanwhile, the Panthers’ rushing game was stymied, generating only 77 yards. JaMarcus Latson led Liberty by netting 50 yards on 15 carries.
Panther Gyri Durant led Liberty in receptions with two for 38 yards. Latson had two catches for 31 yards, and Chris Helvie had one catch for 30 yards.
Cadet Joseph Holguin led the visiting team with five receptions for 95 yards. Brad Stewart’s five receptions for 92 yards produced two touchdowns. Chance Jackson had four receptions for 60 yards and one touchdown, and sophomore John Kennedy had one 30-yard touchdown reception.
BC did turn over the ball twice to Liberty’s once.
Benedictine could have notched more points if not for Panther Richard LeCounte. He led the defense with 14 tackles, and also had a sack and deflected a pass.
Anthony Stewart intercepted a BC pass and returned it for 72 yards. However, Liberty couldn’t convert those opportunities to points.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Panthers (2-2) this week, as they have a long bus ride to play at Munroe.