St. Joe Central ends Liberty's season
By Chris Schoonover The St. Joseph News-Press
Central coach Jeff Wallace does not believe the playoffs start in the first round of districts. Once some teams have been eliminated, that’s when the real tournament starts.
The Indians will get a chance at that following a 49-14 win over Liberty on Friday night at Noyes Field.
The Indians (4-6) got 148 yards and four touchdowns from Israel Smith and 135 passing yards from quarterback Jacob Hess for their first district win since 2013.
“(Hess) was doing a tremendous job of putting the ball where it needed to be put,” Wallace said. “I almost hate to single anybody out because we had so many kids contribute tonight. They were simply not going to lose tonight.”
The Indians defeated the Blue Jays (3-7) on Sept. 25 on a late run by Smith. This time, they had the blueprint to beat Liberty ready to go.
“We had three kids back on defense and that was huge for us,” Wallace said. “Offensively, we were along the same lines as last time. We just finished tonight in all phases.”
Most teams that play Central focus on taking Smith out with eight players in the box, and early in the game Hess was able to expose the one-on-one matchups on the outside.
On the first Indian drive, Hess found Gage Stagner wide open on a broken play for an easy 6.
The Blue Jays countered with a passing touchdown of their own, as Ryan Potts found Xavier Hinkle with one-on-one coverage for the touchdown, set up by a 69-yard run by Robert Rawie.
“We feel like we’ve gotten better every week, except for tonight,” Liberty coach Chad Frigon said. “We made some mistakes tonight that we could not dig ourselves out of.
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