Liberty County hosts Wayne County on Friday to open Region 3-AAAA football action.
The Yellow Jackets are 2-3 overall, but Panther offensive coordinator Ryan Glazer said Wayne County’s losses don’t mean it should be taken lightly.
“They play a very tough nonregion schedule that helps them prepare for region play,” he said. “Defensively, they are big, strong and physical. Every time we play Wayne, it’s a battle.”
Glazer said Liberty (3-2) suffered some bumps and bruises against Benedictine two weeks ago that forced the Panthers to play without five starters last week in their 20-18 homecoming win over Monroe.
“We are trying to get healthy … and working on eliminating mistakes,” he said.
Against Monroe, Liberty’s offense managed 223 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception.
The Panthers rushed for 173 yards, led by Richard LeCounte’s 117 yards. Their top running back, Jacquez Williams, was one of the starters forced to watch from the sidelines. Junior Elisha Polite had three receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Liberty’s defense was led by Antonio Golden’s 11 total tackles and Calvin Holmes’ 10.
Holmes and Jacari Roberts both made critical interceptions. The defense deflected five passes.
Wayne County suffered a 42-0 shutout loss last week at Camden County. The Yellow Jackets have used several offensive formations to include more than one person under center at any given time.
“They are big fast and strong as usual,” Panther head coach Kirk Warner said. “They have played two QBs with different skill sets. So we will have to be prepared for that.”
To date, the Yellow Jackets have 504 rushing yards and 559 passing yards. Wayne County, which has several seniors in key positions, handed the Liberty team a 29-0 loss last year in Jesup.
“Hopefully, playing against big and physical offensive lines like BC and Monroe will better prepare us to face them,” Warner said.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.