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Surging to the top

A growing belief continues to build along with every win for a surging Liberty North squad.

For the second time this season, the Eagles knocked off a higher-ranked opponent, upending Park Hill, 24-3, thanks to complete effort that kept them undefeated.

It was the type of all-around, hard-nosed performance head coach Greg Jones has tried to instill in the program since the day he took over three years ago.

“Our kids came to play. They played physical. They played tough,” Jones said. “They’re playing our style of football, how we want to play football. And I’m loving it.”

Liberty North (3-0) knocked off a ranked Lee’s Summit North team during the season-opener and faced another tough test against Park Hill (2-1), which boasted an exceptional defense that had only allowed two touchdowns all season.

Points were difficult to come by for both teams, but the Eagles won the early field-position battle and opened the scoring on senior Keshawn Turner’s touchdown run in the first quarter.

Liberty North extended its lead with back-to-back touchdown passes from senior Jake Van Dyne during the second quarter, and the Eagles soared to a 21-3 lead at halftime.

“We got the momentum, and our kids kept fighting,” Jones said.

Despite a difficult first half, Park Hill appeared ready to claw right back into the game after recovering a perfectly placed kickoff inside Liberty North’s red zone.

But the scoring chance ended when Eagles’ safety Connor Baxley picked off Park Hill quarterback Anthony Hall in the end zone. Baxley ultimately came away with three turnovers – two interceptions and a fumble recovery – in the second half, and he said the first turnover made all the difference.

“It was amazing,” Baxley said. “It set the entire tone for the second half and the rest of the game.”

Despite the rocky start, Park Hill’s exceptional defense kept the score within striking distance well into the second half. With a multitude of weapons at their disposal, the Trojans simply needed a spark to get back into the game.

But that jolt never came, as Liberty North bottled up Park Hill’s attack and kept it out of the end zone for the first time this season.

Trojans’ coach Josh Hood was pleased with the way his defense performed throughout the contest and credited Liberty North for executing throughout the game.

“We just couldn’t find anything to push momentum,” Hood said. “Momentum just kept pushing the other way. They had a good game plan and didn’t make a lot of mistakes.”

Van Dyne threw for more than 200 yards in the contest, connecting with Davis Rockers and Luke Mathews on the two touchdown passes. Meanwhile, Turner racked up more than 90 rushing yards, including a successful fake punt that helped the Eagles kick a field goal during the fourth quarter.

Ranked No. 7 in Class 6, Liberty North (3-0) looks primed to move up in the state poll. And even with a couple signature wins in the young season, Baxley said the team wanted to keep its success in perspective as it moves forward.

“We have all the confidence in the world, but that doesn’t matter if we don’t show up and work every day at practice,” Baxley said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

A growing belief continues to build along with every win for a surging Liberty North squad.

For the second time this season, the Eagles knocked off a higher-ranked opponent, upending Park Hill, 24-3, thanks to complete effort that kept them undefeated.

It was the type of all-around, hard-nosed performance head coach Greg Jones has tried to instill in the program since the day he took over three years ago.

“Our kids came to play. They played physical. They played tough,” Jones said. “They’re playing our style of football, how we want to play football. And I’m loving it.”

Liberty North (3-0) knocked off a ranked Lee’s Summit North team during the season-opener and faced another tough test against Park Hill (2-1), which boasted an exceptional defense that had only allowed two touchdowns all season.

Points were difficult to come by for both teams, but the Eagles won the early field-position battle and opened the scoring on senior Keshawn Turner’s touchdown run in the first quarter.

Liberty North extended its lead with back-to-back touchdown passes from senior Jake Van Dyne during the second quarter, and the Eagles soared to a 21-3 lead at halftime.

“We got the momentum, and our kids kept fighting,” Jones said.

Despite a difficult first half, Park Hill appeared ready to claw right back into the game after recovering a perfectly placed kickoff inside Liberty North’s red zone.

But the scoring chance ended when Eagles’ safety Connor Baxley picked off Park Hill quarterback Anthony Hall in the end zone. Baxley ultimately came away with three turnovers – two interceptions and a fumble recovery – in the second half, and he said the first turnover made all the difference.

“It was amazing,” Baxley said. “It set the entire tone for the second half and the rest of the game.”

Despite the rocky start, Park Hill’s exceptional defense kept the score within striking distance well into the second half. With a multitude of weapons at their disposal, the Trojans simply needed a spark to get back into the game.

But that jolt never came, as Liberty North bottled up Park Hill’s attack and kept it out of the end zone for the first time this season.

Trojans’ coach Josh Hood was pleased with the way his defense performed throughout the contest and credited Liberty North for executing throughout the game.

“We just couldn’t find anything to push momentum,” Hood said. “Momentum just kept pushing the other way. They had a good game plan and didn’t make a lot of mistakes.”

Van Dyne threw for more than 200 yards in the contest, connecting with Davis Rockers and Luke Mathews on the two touchdown passes. Meanwhile, Turner racked up more than 90 rushing yards, including a successful fake punt that helped the Eagles kick a field goal during the fourth quarter.

Ranked No. 7 in Class 6, Liberty North (3-0) looks primed to move up in the state poll. And even with a couple signature wins in the young season, Baxley said the team wanted to keep its success in perspective as it moves forward.

“We have all the confidence in the world, but that doesn’t matter if we don’t show up and work every day at practice,” Baxley said. “That’s what it’s all about.”