It was a battle between the Panthers and the Warriors as Liberty County High School hosted Jenkins in a football game held Friday at Donell Woods Stadium. There would be four lead changes before regulation ended but the Panthers took the 32-21 win.
The pace of the game was fast and the action non-stop from the first offensive drive.
After winning the coin toss the Warriors took the opening kickoff and the offense went to work on their own 35 yard line.
Warrior quarterback Javonte Middleton pitched the ball to his running back, selling the reverse. Instead the ball was pitched back to Middleton who found Tyrone Scott open at midfield. Scott made the catch and ran in for the touchdown just seconds into the game.
The Warriors, looking to keep the ball away from Panthers Richard LeCounte and Elisha Polite, go for an on-side kick but were penalized.
The Warriors re-kicked the ball and the Panther offense was set to answer the call. In nearly a duplicate play, LeCounte pitched the ball to Jaalon Frazier who then found Polite at midfield. Polite made the leaping catch but was immediately brought down by defenders.
Frazier then hit Polite for a 40-yard touchdown pass. But Liberty went for two and missed to trail 7-6.
In the play that followed Jenkins looked for the long pass but failed to see LeCounte was in position. The five-star prospect, who was also celebrating his birthday, leaped in front of the receiver for an interception.
The Warriors staunch defense, however, didn’t allow the Panthers to capitalize on the error.
Just shy of half-time the Warriors were moving the ball when the Panthers forced a fumble and recovered.
This time the Panthers hit pay dirt as Frazier hit LeCounte for a 38 yard touchdown reception. But the Liberty boys failed again on the two-point try.
Up 12-7 the Liberty boys extended their lead with a touchdown, but failed on the extra point. But that lead was cut down when Jenkins answered with a touchdown. Liberty was still up 18-14. Briefly. The Warriors attacked again scoring a touchdown to regain the lead 21-18.
Once again the Panthers were poised to answer the call and Frazier hit Kris Coleman for a touchdown pass. Frazier then ran in the two-point conversion and Liberty was up again 26-21.
Not letting the Warriors back into the game, Liberty County extended its lead when Frazier rushed into the end zone with limited time left on the clock. Liberty missed the point after but with 40 seconds left managed to hold off the Warriors.
Frazier was 12-of-26 for 203 passing yards and three touchdowns. He had 126 yards on 20 carries for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion.
Coleman ended the night with 12 carries for 118 rushing yards and 4 receptions for 70 yards and a TD.
Polite had five receptions for 103 yards and one TD.
Liberty is 3-0 and will play at Effingham Count Friday at 7:30 p.m.