Liberty finalizes the 2018 inaugural FBS season with a resounding 52-17 win over Norfolk State to finish the season 6-6.
Throughout every game, there are several moments or plays that go unnoticed, or could be overlooked. Still, they play a huge role in the eventual outcome.
Let’s look at five plays that changed the direction of this game:
3rd down conversion on first drive of game – As is typically the case, the Flames got the ball to open the game and quickly marched into NSU territory. The Flames faced a 3rd and long near the 40 yard line when Buckshot connected with B.J. Farrow who made a nice sideline grab to move the chains. It kept the drive alive and allowed Liberty to take a 3-0 lead.
The FB gets in on the action – On Liberty’s 2nd drive of the game, Calvert found fullback Michael Bollinger in the back of the end zone for the touchdown to put Liberty on top 10-3. It was Bollinger’s first career reception and the first touchdown reception by a Liberty fullback since 2014 by Thomas Kennedy.
Norfolk State fumbles the ensuing kickoff – Perhaps due to the foggy conditions, the Spartans struggled fielding kicks and punts most of the afternoon. It cost them mightily when they fumbled Aaron Peart’s kickoff following Bollinger’s touchdown. The Flames recovered the ball at the 12 yard line and were able to tack on 7 more points to seize a 17-3 lead.
Senior Kentory Matthews break free for a big gain – Following the kickoff fumble, Kentory Matthews broke free for a 43 yard rush on senior day. The Liberty senior has struggled with an injury most of the season, but had a solid showing in his final game in a Liberty uniform. His big run moved the Flames into the red zone, and Matthews was able to find the end zone to put Liberty ahead 24-3.
Spartans’ muff a punt – With just 6 minutes left in the first half, Norfolk State muffed Liberty’s first punt of the game, recovered by Javon Scruggs. It would set up another Kentory Matthews touchdown as the Flames seized control of the game at 38-3.