Liberty Hill holds off determined Lockhart, 35-14￼
By Kyle Mooty
Lockhart managed to keep Liberty Hill 19 points under its season average and controlled the time of possession, including having two more first downs than the visiting Panthers Friday night at Lions Stadium.
Nevertheless, Liberty Hill scored on all but the final possessions of each half and pulled away from an early deficit to down Lockhart, 35-14.
The win improved Liberty Hill to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in District 13, while Lockhart dropped to 4-3 and 1-2. After Liberty Hill and Veterans Memorial, there are three teams – Bastrop, Lockhart, and Kerrville Tivy — with two district losses each. Lockhart travels to Bastrop next week.
Lockhart took the game’s opening possession Friday night and drove 75 yards in 10 plays, scoring with 7:01 left in the first quarter on Sean McKinney’s five-yard run after taking a pitch from Ashton Dickens. Omar Ocampo booted the PAT for a 7-0 LHS lead.
Liberty Hill promptly drove 53 yards for a TD on its first series, scoring in eight plays when Ben Carter plunged in from three yards out. Connor Hawkins’ PAT wit 3:19 left in the first tied the game at 7-7.
On just its second series, Liberty Hill went 66 yards in 14 plays, scoring on quarterback Reese Vickers’ one-yard TD with 2:29 left in the half. Hawkins’ PAT made it 14-7 Panthers.
Liberty Hill took the opening drive of the third period 52 yards in just six plays, scoring on Jaxson Hines’ three-yard run. Hawkins’ PAT made it 21-7 with 10:00 left in the third.
Lockhart got back within striking distance, even converting on a fourth-and-12 on the ensuing drive. Dickens fought off a possible sack and found Zakaya Gathings in the end zone for a 19-yard strike with 4:17 left in the third. Ocampo’s PAT made it 21-14 with 4:17 left in the period.
However, Liberty Hill drove 51 yards in just five plays, scoring on Noah Long’s 20-yard run with 1:32 left in the third. Hawkins’ PAT made it 28-14.
Lockhart reached the Panthers’ 12-yard line on its next possession but turned the ball over on downs.
Liberty Hill then put the game away by going 86 yards in 11 plays, scoring with 2:12 remaining on Long’s 34-yard jaunt. Hawkins’ PAT set the final margin.
Liberty Hill only attempted on pass and it fell incomplete, yet the Panthers rushed 48 times for 373 yards. Long had 18 carries form 140 yards, while Jack Pitchford had seven attempts for 77 yards.
Lockhart, which had 21 first downs to Liberty Hill’s 19, got 121 yards rushing from McKinney and another 86 from Dickens, who also passed for 100 yards. The Lions also had the ball for 3:30 longer than the Panthers.
Liberty Hill is off next week before hosting Bastrop on Oct. 28.