Liberty North blanks Raytown
By Jason Madson PrepsKC staff writer
Everyone in this area knows the Mizzou chant M-I-Z Z-O-U. Liberty North has a similar chant that spells out E-A-G L-E-S. Anyone in attendance tonight for Raytown and Liberty North heard this chant multiple times. After starting off slow, the Eagles blew the game open after halftime to win 30-0.
The first quarter was loaded with sloppy football, mainly on the offensive side of the ball. Whether it was first game jitters or the hot/muggy weather these two teams combined for multiple turnovers.
North Head Coach Ken Clemens had some thoughts on the ball security issues:
"The kids wear these gloves.....I don't know if they get soaked in sweat or what,” Clemens said that ball security hasn't been an issue for his team this offseason. "We've had zero ball on the ground problems this summer."
One of the players with ball security issues was Eagles’ Wide Receiver/Cornerback/Returner, KiAndre Pugh. Clemens came to the defense of his star player:
“Pugh was an all-state cornerback last season,” Clemens said. “He had a forgettable night with drops. I've never seen him drop that many balls...sweaty arms were a factor"
Pugh did have a touchdown catch in the first quarter, was a factor in the return game and intercepted a pass late in the fourth quarter, Pugh left the game for a few series with cramping issues.
Richard Richardson, a senior running back for Liberty North, had a tremendous night. Unofficially, Richardson had over 170 yards rushing. He probably would have touched the ball a few more times, but the heat was a concern.
"If it weren't so dang hot, he'd have touched it even more tonight," Clemens said.
Richardson is a compact runner. He hits the hole with authority and an insane burst. His open-field vision is probably his best trait. Before tonight's game, Richardson was flying under the radar. Ken Clemens is hoping that he remains under the radar for a few more weeks.
"He's flying under the radar since he only played in five games last year,” Clemens said. “Liberty North High School has never had a player like him and he's only seeming to get better"
Liberty North QB Brian Sharp had a solid night tonight, despite the drops. Seeming to place the ball where it needed to be, only to have it hit the turf a few times. Sharp finished with 2 TDs tonight along with facing a multiple blitzing defense.
The true stars of tonight's game were on the Eagles defense, the front seven in particular. The front four Eagles were about as dominant as they come. Raytown Blue Jays Head Coach Kevin Page agreed.
"Physically, upfront, their defense far outplayed our offensive line...You can't do anything if you can't run it or pass it, and we couldn't do either tonight," Page said.
Liberty North Linebacker Sal Silvio intercepted a pass in the middle of the field and returned it 25 or so yards for a TD. Ken Clemens was happy for his player.
"He's our all-time leading tackler, he deserved that," Clemens said.
The scoreboard read 30-0 in favor of Liberty North tonight. After the game, each coach gave a few quick thoughts, positive and negative from tonight.
"We have a lot of work to do,” Page said. “My kids always play hard and I feel like we played hard tonight. We just have to play better."
Ken Clemens was more concerned about the mistakes and turnovers after the completion of the game. "It was frustrating that we didn't score all those points earlier to allow the JV kids to have a chance to play and finish the game," Clemens said. "We defeated a very good football team, we just need to clean up the mistakes."
Next week the Bluejays host William Chrisman and Liberty North head to Blue Springs for a battle with Blue Springs South.
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