It may have been a slow start, but Liberty was able to pull away with a dominating second half performance today en route to a 26-12 win over Charleston Southern at Williams Stadium.  Liberty benefitted from another outstanding performance by RB Aldreakis Allen, who was able to break the game open with 3 long touchdown runs, rushing for 179 yards on 19 carries.  While the Flames never trailed in this one, the game remained tight throughout the first half.  Liberty got on the board early, thanks to a 35 yard touchdown run by Aldreakis Allen.  However, CSU was able to answer on a big 4th down play, when Malcolm Dixon found an uncovered Kirby Broome for a 41 yard touchdown pass. 

Photo courtesy of Liberty Champion

The game appeared to be headed for a defensive struggle. However Liberty was able to dominate on the ground in the second half, and the Flames defense stood strong, holding the Charleston Southern option attack to 122 yards on the ground.  Josh Woodrum added a 5 yard touchdown pass to the Flames total, along with Allen’s final touchdown run in the 4th quarter to put the game out of reach.  The Bucs were able to put together a touchdown score in garbage time, making the score look closer than it really was. 

The story of this game was of course, the continuing excellent play of Aldreakis Allen.  Allen broke off touchdown runs of 35, 56, and 30 yards, and averaged a remarkable 9.4 yards per carry.  He remains on pace to have one of the best seasons in Liberty history for a running back, and the Flames will need to him to have another huge game next week against Stony Brook.  Not to be left out, Sirchauncey Holloway added 97 yards on 19 carries with a long of 23 yards.  One has to wonder how long Turner Gill and the coaching staff will continue to split the load, with Allen so obviously outperforming Holloway. 

Liberty of course must win out, and get some help to win the Big South title, and get to the playoffs.  Gardner-Webb was unable to give Liberty that help today, as Coastal Carolina pulled away in the 4th quarter to win 55-33.  Liberty will now rely on either Presbyterian or today’s opponent Charleston Southern to beat Coastal and give the Flames any chance at all at their first playoff birth.

First things first though, Liberty must get through perhaps their toughest opponent of the season, as Stony Brook comes to town next Saturday for a 3:30 matchup.