Liberty Hill travels to take on Georgetown on Friday night in a battle of 1-1 teams, both looking to build off of victories in week 2. Here is what to watch for at Birkelbach Field on Friday.
Liberty Hill Panthers (1-1)
Head Coach: Kent Walker (1st season)
Friday 8/27 L 7-12 vs. Killeen Ellison
Friday 9/3 W 62-6 vs. Del Valle
It’s no secret now that Liberty Hill is going to pound the ball each and every game with its slot-T offense. Two weeks into the season, the Panthers have yet to complete a pass, exclusively focusing on their ground game.
After contributing as a freshman on varsity in 2020, sophomore running back Noah Long (51 carries for 280 yards, 6 touchdowns) has been off to a stellar start this year and led the way with five touchdowns against Del Valle last week.
The Panthers have a wealth of rushing options in addition to Young, including Logan Dyer (27 carries for 155 yards), Grady Flinn (8 carries for 75 yards), and backup-quarterback-turned-running-back Joe Pitchford (12 carries for 49 yards).
With so much rushing talent, don’t be surprised if the Panthers keep the ball on the ground yet again on Friday night.
Defensively, Liberty Hill forced an impressive seven turnovers against Del Valle a week ago. Linebacker Andon Thomas (18 tackles) is the heart and soul of a unit that has allowed just 18 points in the past two games.
Upfront, Drake Torno was a menace a week ago, finishing the game with four sacks. Alongside him are two Division I prospects in Aaron Brewer and Lloyd Johnson Jr. at defensive end.
Both recovered a fumble last week and have three Division I offers apiece. In the secondary, junior Carlton Schrank emerged as a playmaker last time out with two interceptions against Del Valle.
Georgetown Eagles (1-1)
Head Coach: Chuck Griffin (3rd Season)
Friday 8/27 L 31-35 vs. Belton
Friday 9/3 W 62-39 @Copperas Cove
Darson Herman has been a three-year starter for Georgetown at quarterback, and he has certainly shown why during the Eagles’ first two games of the 2021 season. The senior has thrown for 497 yards and 5 touchdowns and added 194 yards on 20 carries on the ground, showcasing his dual-threat ability.
Look for him to target Marquis Dominguez, who leads the team with 12 catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns so far this season. Drayden Dickmann is another receiver to keep an eye on after he caught four passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns last week.
In the backfield, big senior running back Devin Ross has led the way so far for the Eagles with 197 rushing yards and two touchdowns, both of which came last week against Copperas Cove.
Georgetown’s defense will look to take a step forward in this one after giving up 74 points in its first two games combined. However, the Eagles only returned three starters on defense this season, so it is no surprise that there have been some growing pains so far.
Linebacker Bryson Hanks had three tackles for loss a week ago, and, along with defensive end/linebacker AJ Bradshaw, led the team in total tackles with seven. Those two players and talented safety Trent McConnell, an all-district selection a year ago, will need to be ready to showcase their physicality on Friday as they take on Liberty Hill’s smashmouth run game.
It is set to be an intriguing clash between these two 5A opponents on Friday. Georgetown will need a big night from Herman against Liberty Hill’s stingy defense if it is to have a chance against Liberty Hill. The Liberty Hill offense found its stride last week against Del Valle and knows how to consistently grind out yards on the ground.
Can Georgetown stop Liberty Hill’s rushing attack? Leave a comment below.