The Liberty Flames move to 6-4 on the season with a 47-28 win over Presbyterian.
RANKING THE TOP PLAYS FROM THE GAME
- On the opening kickoff, Frankie Hickson returned it 84 yards to the Presbyterian 11 yard line. It was by far his longest return of the season and set the tone for the Flames’ offensive domination in the game.
- In the first quarter, Buckshot connected with Cephas Reddick for a 68 yard touchdown strike, giving the Flames a 17-0 lead.
- On a 4th and 1 play at the PC 20, Carrington Mosley leaped over the Blue Hose defensive line and scampered 19 yards to the 1 yard line, setting up the first career touchdown run by senior fullback Thomas Kennedy on senior night.
- After a Liberty fumble, which Presbyterian recovered on the Liberty 4 yard line, the Flames’ defense was able to stop the Blue Hose on a 4th and goal from the 3 yard line. If PC was able to score, they could have cut the score to a 2 possession game with just over 2 minutes left.
- Buckshot connected with B.J. Farrow fora 31 yard touchdown score near the end of the first quarter to give the Flames a 24-7 lead. At the end of the day, that deficit was too much for the Hose to overcome.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Flames dominated the Blue Hose from the opening kickoff on. This is the same Presbyterian team that beat a Saint Francis team, 26-14, on October 7th. That game was just one week after the Red Flash knocked off Liberty 13-7 at Williams Stadium. While this was a great performance, it is what most of the fan base expected during that 4 game losing streak, especially after the team opened the season with a win over Baylor.
Liberty had its best offensive performance of the season, as the Flames put up over 600 total yards and over 300 rushing yards, neither of which had been accomplished this season prior to Saturday. However, the defense continues to surrender big numbers. Presbyterian finished the day with 452 yards of offense and scored 28 points, both season highs.
The win gives the Flames 6 wins for the season and clinches a winning record for the 12th consecutive season. Liberty is one of only 5 FCS teams to have accomplished that feat during the same time period. Harvard owns the longest current streak of winning seasons at 16, with Jacksonville State (14), New Hampshire (13), and McNeese State (12) also with streaks dating to at least 2006 or later.
Attendance on a very cold night in Lynchburg was an impressive 18,001. The average attendance on the season, which will be reported to the NCAA, is 15,452. FBS requirements are to average 15,000 fans in each 2 year stretch.
Liberty will conclude the 2017 season next week at Charleston Southern. The Buccaneers lost to Kennesaw State, 38-0, on Saturday. CSU is 5-5 on the season and 2-2 in Big South play. The Flames own a 19-5 series edge over the Buccaneers, but Liberty has lost 3 straight. Prior to the current 3 game losing streak, the Flames had won 8 consecutive and 12 out of 13 in the series.
After Charleston Southern’s 48-26 win over Liberty in Lynchburg last season, there was a video that circulated on social media of a former Liberty assistant, who is currently at staff with CSU, smashing cinder blocks spray-painted with Liberty on them.
Can we join? #MannequinChallenge #AllAboard pic.twitter.com/ih02Nrj4NB
— CSU Football (@CSUFB) November 13, 2016
A win next week would bring the Flames to 7 wins on the year for the first time since 2014 when Liberty was 9-5 after advancing to the FCS playoffs.
BY THE NUMBERS
297 | Presbyterian quarterback Will Brock threw for a career-high 297 yards.
100 | Senior running back Carrington Mosley eclipsed the 100 yard rushing mark for the 3rd consecutive game as he finished with 149 yards on 27 carries.
170 | Buckshot has thrown 170 consecutive passes without an interception. This streak dates back to the first half of the Kennesaw State game. Calvert has thrown a school record 27 touchdowns this season to just 5 interceptions.
THEY SAID IT
Flames head coach Turner Gill on the team responding with a 3 game win streak after the 4 game losing streak:
“Just like we all know in life, how do you respond when adversity hits? I think your character gets revealed. Simply said, our character got revealed by our team these last 3 ball games, I think showed you that this team loves each other, they love playing for each other, they love playing for this University. When they put their mind to do something, then they are able to do that. I am proud to be a part of this organization, proud to be a part of this University, but more importantly I am proud to be a part of this 2017 football team which has demonstrated great character time and time again.”
Buckshot Calvert on his school record 27 touchdowns this season:
“That really goes back to the whole team – the offensive line protecting me and the receivers making great plays and getting in the endzone.”
Frankie Hickson on his opening kickoff return:
“It felt good to start fast. I know that’s what we needed as a team, and that’s what we always focus on. We have to start fast and finish strong, and that’s what we got a chance to do.”
Carrington Mosley on the rapid ascension of his career:
“I just put my head down and kept working and believing in the talents God has given me, and continue to go to work every day and I just trusted in Him. I was low at times. It’s so hard to see myself here from where I was a long time ago, but it is truly a blessing.”