Liberty County High School defeated McIntosh County Academy 45-14 Friday night in a non-region contest in Darien.
The Liberty squad had an opportunity to test the bench after jumping to a 20-6 in the first quarter.
In fact Panther offensive coordinator Ryan Glazer said most of the starters played only the first half of the game.
The game changers were obvious.
The Georgia High School Association finally declared senior transfer quarterback Walker Franklin eligible to play for Liberty.
Franklin sat out the first two games of the season awaiting the ruling. While sophomore Panther quarterback Jaalon Frazier did a great job in filling the spot, Franklin made his return known to the Buccaneers.
On the first offensive play of the game Franklin found Jacquez Williams and completed a touchdown pass.
Williams finished the game with four receptions good for 85 yards, three carries for 13 yards and had the three touchdowns.
Franklin ended the night tossing three touchdown passes. Williams caught two of them and rushed for his third touchdown in the game.
Franklin completed 8-of-16 for 144 passing yards and two touchdowns. He had four carries for 44 yards. One pass was intercepted.
His second go-to guy was Gyri Durant. He made four receptions for 60 yards.
Also returning from a two-game absence was all-around player Richard LeCounte. Defensively, LeCounte got an interception for the Panthers. He also spent time on the offense where he took a handoff and then tossed a half back pass that was good for another Panther touchdown.
LeCounte was 1-for-1 in passing with the 39-yard throw. He also had one offensive carry for 14 yards.
Panther running back JaMarcus Latson, who twisted his ankle against Bradwell, looked healed. He rushed for 104 yards in seven carries. He also had two catches for 44 yards and made two touchdowns in the game.
By the third quarter, the Panthers were up 42-6.
Liberty’s defense gave up only two touchdowns and a two-point conversion.
Head coach Kirk Warner said he was pleased at how well Franklin and LeCounte played after being sidelined for three weeks.
The win improved the Panthers to 2-1.
Liberty has a tough game coming up Friday, hosting Benedictine at Donell Woods Stadium. The Cadets went all the way to the state semi-finals last year before falling to Lamar County, 10-7.