Devils pitch shutout in rout at West-Oak

LEFT, (Doug Tate/Photo) A trio of Liberty defenders — Seth Dover, Aaron Bates and Dusty Owens — combine to take down West-Oak’s Mark Sherman during the Warriors’ 54-0 win RIGHT (Brandy Karr/Photo) Liberty’s Garrett Fricks prepares to take a hit from West-Oak’s Houston Stone during their game on Friday night.

By Jimmy Kirby
Courier Sports

WEST-OAK — The Liberty Red Devils traveled to the Golden Corner for a non-region game with West-Oak and took care of business as they rolled to an easy 54-0 victory to improve to 5-1 on the season.

The Red Devils scored early and often against a Warrior program that is sorely low on talent and players this season. Liberty jumped out to a 27-0 first-quarter lead and extended the margin to 41-0 by halftime.

On a night when West-Oak had a hard time moving the ball to start with, the Warriors lost their starting quarterback and starting running back to injury. Neither returned to the game.

9-21 Page 1B.inddThe Warriors had only two drives that ended on the Liberty side of the field. The first drive started at the Liberty 33-yard line when they recovered an errant Austin Huey option pitch. That drive accounted for negative-4 yards and ended at the Liberty 37-yard line. The second drive came in the fourth quarter and accounted for 19 yards, which was West-Oak’s longest drive of the game, ending at the Liberty 40-yard line.

The Red Devil defense held the Warriors to 27 yards of total offense. West-Oak tallied negative-25 yards rushing on 27 attempts. The Warriors managed to gain 52 yards through the air on a 4-for-15 passing night.

Cavaugio Butler opened the scoring for the Red Devils with a 48-yard touchdown run to make the score 6-0 in favor of the Red Devils after the PAT was blocked a little more than two minutes into the game.

The Red Devils were stopped at the Warrior 10-yard line on their next drive when Butler was tackled for no gain on both third and fourth down.

West-Oak then gave the ball back to the Red Devils on a second-down fumble. Liberty recovered the loose ball at the West-Oak 1-yard line. Clay Lollis then scored the second touchdown of the game on a second-down try from the one to put the Red Devils up 14-0. The two-point run was good by Butler.

Butler was at it again as he scored again on a 48-yard run on the first play from scrimmage of the Devils’ next possession to make it 21-0 with 3:07 remaining still in the first quarter.

Kevon Tabron added to the scoring with just 16 seconds to go in the first quarter when he scored from 27 yards out. This time the PAT was wide left, and the Red Devils were ahead 27-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The defense got into the scoring midway through the second quarter when Austin Miller intercepted Carter Cole’s pass and rambled 49 yards down the West-Oak sideline to put the Red Devils up 34-0.

9-21 Page 1B.inddHuey then found Cole Murphy across the middle for a 41-yard touchdown with just more than a minute remaining in the half to make it 41-0.

West-Oak got its initial first down of the game offensively to start the third quarter when Cole completed a 17-yard pass to Wil Collins to convert a third and 15 for the Warriors. The drive stalled at the West-Oak 49-yard line.

Shaun Karr added a touchdown run of two yards late in the third quarter to extend the Red Devils’ lead to 48-0. Huey set up the touchdown with a run of 57 yards to the Warrior 2-yard line.

Seth Dover completed the scoring for the Red Devils with a four-yard touchdown run to make it 54-0 for the final score.

The Red Devil offense accounted for 366 total yards. They managed 250 yards on the ground and 116 yards through the air.

Coach Kyle Stewart understood that his team needed to travel to West-Oak and play with steady execution and continue to be prepared each and every week.

“Proud of the team for coming out and doing their jobs and taking care of business,” he said after the game.

Stewart was quick to get as many players in the game as possible in the second half to gain experience and prevent injury.

“It was good to get everyone some playing time since they all work so hard during the week but do not always get on the field,” he said.

The Red Devils will now get a week off before they head back on the road to take on the Crescent Tigers. It will give them a week to rest up and heal a few players with nagging injuries. Stewart says they have played through them but the time off will help them heal.

With the new high school league alignment, the Red Devils will only have three region games this season. They will face Abbeville in two weeks and then take on Ninety Six and Southside Christian to close out the regular season.