HINESVILLE -- The Liberty County Panthers knew they had a tall task when they saw the Carver Panthers next on the GHSA 3A playoff bracket.
Carver (10-2) was as advertised with their abundance of athletes as they dominated Liberty County (6-4) 53-12.
Carver scored four touchdowns in the first half and converted two-point conversions for all of them.
On Carver’s first drive, they were pushed inside their own 25 and were forced to punt.
But Liberty couldn’t make anything happen in their first possession neither.
Carver got the ball and their running back Jarveous Brown ran them to the goal line from 30 yards out.
Two straight flags pushed Carver back to the 24.
But their Power Five 5 foot 11, 230 lb. running back prospect Quintaveous Lockett got a carry and ran them back to the 1 before punching in a score on the next play.
Liberty seemed to have life in the following drive with a big completion from Carlos Singleton to Ron Golden Jr. and then Marques Johnson taking off for a run on the following play.
But all that came crashing down when Singleton threw a high ball to Golden, falling into the hands of Quintavious Davis.
“The slant was there but Carlos threw it a little bit high,” Liberty County Head Coach said about the turnover. “Who knows. If he hits him in stride, it’s a 16-8 game. A whole new game. Carlos is a young quarterback, sophomore. Hopefully he learns from this, and it makes him a better quarterback next year.”
Carver eventually got the one-yard line again and fed Lockett for another touchdown.
In the second quarter, Lockett got his third touchdown.
This was a lengthy one, scoring from 35 yards out.
“Number 5,” Warner said after the game. “We just couldn’t tackle him. He scored the first three touchdowns. We had him back up to third and goal from the 30, they run a zone read and we just couldn’t tackle him. We got to get in the weight room because that was the difference in the game. Any casual fan can see that they were stronger than we were tonight. When you got a 150 lb. DB trying to tackle number five, the law of averages don’t work out for us.”
Before halftime, Davis got another interception at the expense of Singleton.
Carver got another score before time expired with Bryce Bowens dropping back then calling his own number for a 35-yard scramble score.
Liberty was able to muster up two scores in the second half as a running clock was put into motion.Johnson scored on a run from 20 yards out.
A Singleton to Golden completion also led to a rushing touchdown by Tre Foster.
Carver posted 19 more points in the second half with their backups in.
Liberty County ended their season with a 6-4 record and a Region 3-AAA championship in Warner’s 20th season as head coach.
“I’m proud of this team,” Warner said to reflect on the season. “We didn’t know what we had coming in and played a lot of first-time guys that hadn’t played football before. We only got seven seniors and one of them was a move in. We had to plug and play a lot of guys that just didn’t have a lot of varsity action so winning the region with that, it gives us something to hang our hat on coming into next year. We got to replace some good seniors like Ques (Marques Johnson), Caz (Creasy), Keontrae Williams but with these young guys, if they get in the weight room, I think we can take it a step further next year.”