Liberty County High School is off to a 2-0 start to their football season after taking a 19-16 win over Appling County Friday night at Donell Woods Stadium.
It was a testament to the strong Panther defense, which according to Panther offensive coordinator Ryan Glazer had to hold the Appling offense after the Panthers committed four offensive turnovers.
Senior and five-star recruit standout Raekwon McMillan led the defense with 13 tackles, four for loss. More impressive are the numbers that the highly touted linebacker put up for the Panther offense.
McMillan scored three of the Panthers’ touchdowns on carries of 40, 50 and three yards. He finished the contest with 11 carries for 122 yards.
Panther quarterback Jordan Waters was 2-of-3 with 16 yards in his limited playing time. The senior quarterback was used sparingly after injuring his non-throwing arm.
Freshman all-around player Richard LeCounte took the snaps for a good portion of the first half. Waters did come back in the second half.
In the end, the Panthers didn’t really need a passing game. The Panthers pounded the ball on the ground, earning 293 rushing yards. Waters even had three carries for 18 yards. Panther running back Trentice Williams had a good night with 16 carries for 123 yards.
The opposite was true for the Pirates who managed to complete 25 of 35 for 197 passing yards, but were held to 42 yards on the ground.
Jeremy Caldwell-Fabregas had an impressive 80-yard interception touchdown, but it was called back on penalty.
Fabregas, another talented Panther linebacker earning college looks, made a huge play as the Pirates were within field goal range. With four minutes left and Appling facing a third down, Fabregas pressured the Pirates’ quarterback forcing a bad throw and a pick by Panther Calvin Holmes at the 25-yard line. The Panthers then ate up the clock and a chunk of yards off runs by Williams. The Panthers held on to the win.
Fabregas had 12.5 tackles, four for losses, a sack and the interception. LeCounte and Tim Dobson had 8.5 tackles each for the defense.
The Panthers will host Johnson High Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. The game, originally scheduled for Friday, was moved a day earlier to accommodate being televised by WSAV in Savannah.