Down and Out

Liberty Hill too much for Blackcats 62-14


Facing the third-ranked Class 4A team in the state, Bay City found out just how vaunted the Liberty Hill rushing offense is as the Panthers broke loose long run after long run en route to a 62-14 victory over the Blackcats for the bi-district title Friday night in Giddings.

The game started good for Bay City as the Blackcats moved the ball deep into the Liberty Hill territory. The drive reached the Liberty Hill 37 as Bay City was faced with a fourth and 11 call and almost converted the first down as senior quarterback Dylan Davidson carried the ball down to the Liberty Hill 30 but short of the first down.

Liberty Hill took over and needed just one play Denver Ponton broke loose for a 70-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 Panther lead with 9:07 left in the first quarter.

Bay City needed to respond but the Blackcats started to commit mistakes on the offensive side of the ball to stop long gains. The drive ended with a Bay City punt as Liberty Hill took over at the Panther 37.

The Panthers slowly moved the ball down the field against Bay City’s defense but instead of a running play, Liberty Hill used the airwaves to get into the end zone for the second score of the game.

Liberty Hill’s Jacob Cearley hit Cory Jellison for a 28-yard touchdown pass to give the Panthers a 14-0 with 5:32 left in the first quarter.

After Bay City failed to move the ball on its next drive, the Blackcats pinned Liberty Hill back at its own nine-yard line late in the first quarter. Three wishbone running plays later and Liberty Hill was lighting up the scoreboard once again.

This time, Kyle Harrison scored from 53-yards out to pad the Panthers’ lead to 21-0 with 2:08 left in the first quarter.

Bay City needed to respond and it appeared that the Blackcats did just that when Davidson connected with James Carter for a 76-yard touchdown pass. But Bay City was penalized for a personal foul penalty that negated the touchdown.

But Bay City still managed to get off a nice drive against Liberty Hill and moved the ball down the field behind the talents of Davidson and RJ Mitchell. The drive was capped off when Davidson hit Mitchell for a 22-yard touchdown pass to cut the score down to 21-7 midway through the second quarter.

On the ensuing Liberty Hill drive, the Panthers were thwarted by a Bay City defense that forced the Panthers to punt the ball back over to Bay City. But the Blackcats couldn’t get its offense in gear and went three-and-out and had to punt the ball back over to the vaunted Liberty Hill offense.

Started from the Bay City 35, Liberty Hill needed just three plays to reach the end zone. Again, Harrison did the scoring honors by scoring from 13 yards out to give Liberty Hill a commanding 27-7 lead with 3:35 left in the second quarter.

Bay City went three-and-out on its ensuing drive and Liberty Hill needed just four plays to score again. This time, Kory Schmidt scored from 22 yards out to give the Panthers a 34-7 lead that Liberty Hill carried to the halftime break.

Bay City was able to add another score late in the third quarter when Davidson scored from three yards out.

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