Liberty had a week off to prepare for the Region 3-AAAA Burke County Bears, but that extra time didn’t help. The Panthers dropped its second region game in Waynesboro Friday, 29-6.
The Panthers have hit a tough skid in the 2014 season. Liberty lost its third game in a row and have given up 90 points the past three games, while adding only 20 points of offense.
Facing Burke County, Liberty featured a wishbone with quarterback Jaylon Frazier under center.
Despite getting the opening kickoff, Liberty’s running game struggled. The Panthers put the ball on the ground which led to Burke County’s first score. The fumble recovery gave the Bears good field position and Burke was able to score midway through the first quarter.
Burke would grab two more Liberty fumbles and tallied two more scores for a comfortable, 22-0 lead to head into the locker room at half time.
The Bears continued to dominate throughout the third quarter. Save a three-and-out from Liberty’s offense, Burke had possession of the football during the entire third quarter. Burke added its final touchdown as the third quarter expired, increasing the lead to 29-0.
Liberty finally showed signs of life getting the ball back from Burke to start the fourth quarter. The Panthers’ Richard LeCounte returned the kick off to the 26 yard line. A face mask penalty against the Bears extended the return out to midfield.
Frazier and his wishbone offense took over and the Panthers reeled off a six-play drive off carries from LeCounte, Frazier and full back Jaccari Roberts.
The drive resulted in the Panthers only score, cutting the Bears lead to 29-6 and avoiding the shutout. The two-point conversion failed and in a hurry-up effort the Panthers tried an onside kick.
The Panthers almost recovered the kick. And Liberty did end up getting the ball back, but Frazier was eventually picked off by the Burke secondary.
Liberty got the ball back again in the final three minutes of the game, but Frazier was again picked off trying to go deep. Burke ran out the clock and went to 2-0 in Region 3-AAAA.
Liberty falls to 0-2 in region play and will travel to Thomson next week.