Truman rallies past Liberty

By Shawn Roney The Examiner
Posted: September 19, 2015 - 12:34 AM

Those football fans who gutted out a downpour and about an hour-long lightning delay to watch Truman’s 36-15 comeback road win over Liberty saw Truman senior Dean Clemons explode for 18 fourth-quarter points.

But to the Patriots, it probably didn’t matter who had the scoring tear – or who scored any of the points in their Suburban Middle Six victory, Truman football coach Gregg Webb suggested.

“We’re learning to not care about who gets the credit, about who runs, who does what,” Webb said. “They just play hard. They’re learning, they’re getting tougher. This was a good example of mentally being way tougher than we’ve been in the past.”

Webb sensed that mental toughness in Truman’s ability to overcome first-half miscues that allowed the Blue Jays to lead for much of the first three quarters. Liberty went up 6-0 on a botched Truman punt before lightning suspended play with 9:32 left in the first quarter. When play resumed, Patriots running back Jordan Salima was tackled in the Truman end zone while trying to coral a high snap for a safety to make it 8-0 Blue Jays.

Dave Rivera’s 15-yard TD run cut it to 8-6 with 2:09 left in the first quarter. Clemons’ 4-yard TD run and Salima’s two-point conversion run gave Truman (4-1 overall, 3-0 league) its first lead with 55 seconds left in the second quarter. Robert Rawie’s 82-yard kickoff return and Drew Mackie’s extra-point kick helped give Liberty a 15-14 halftime lead.

To Liberty coach Chad Frigon, holding a one-point lead into halftime “against a good team” was something positive the Blue Jays could take from the loss.

“I’m disappointed in our second half in terms of our execution,” Frigon said. “I thought, actually, our defense executed better in the second half. They were just on the field too much.”

It remained a one-point ballgame until Clemons started his fourth-quarter scoring with a 7-yard TD run, followed by Salima’s two-point run, with 11:05 left. He then added a 1-yard TD run, followed by Will Jenkins’ point after, with 8:36 remaining. His pick six and Jenkins’ extra point with 8:34 left help ice it.

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