Back to all Features
All Wrapped upPhoto Credit: David Smith/Special to PrepsKC


Liberty North coach Andy Lierman stood at  midfield of Severino Field talking to Rockhurst coach Kelly Donohoe after his team swiftly defeated the Hawklets 35-7 to improve to 2-1 on the season.

Lierman recalled a game from his days coaching the defensive line at Liberty. He said that Donohoe came up after the game and told him how impressed he was with the job he’d done that night.

“I was probably a 27, 28-years-old coach at the time. It just really meant a lot to me,” Lierman said. “I’ve learned something as I’ve gotten older to make sure you tell people to say thank you that have helped you out along the way and he did without even knowing it. “It’s something that I’ve remembered. … he’s always been really great to me (throughout my career).”

Both defenses seemed to be in control early. It wasn’t until late in the first quarter that Liberty North started to click as Tillman Martin found Jay Ross for a 32-yard touchdown to give the Eagles an early 7-0 lead.

Liberty North extended its lead to 14-0 midway through the second quarter as Jacorey Love capped off a 7-play, 79-yard drive with a 3-yard run.

“We wanted to effectively run the football and throw the football (tonight),” Lierman said. “We feel like we have some weapons. We wanted to line up and be able to use the guys we have on offense and do the things we do.”

One of those weapons is senior receiver Keelan Smith. Smith, who is committed to Nebraska, showed up in a big way, especially on Liberty North’s first drive of the second half.

Facing a 2nd-and-13 from its one 32-yard, Martin connected with Smith on the far sideline for a 68-yard touchdown to give the Eagles a commanding 20-0 lead.

“I think we came in with a good game plan,” Martin said. “And obviously it showed.”

Rockhurst was able to cut into Liberty North lead midway through the third quarter as Aidan Ryan pushed his way into the end zone with a 5-yard run.

Even though Lierman was happy with the win, he said his team can continue to find ways to improve throughout the season.

Especially on the offensive side of the ball.

“We’ve had a core group of kids that have been with us for a while that have a ton of experience and we have a group of kids that are seniors and juniors that are first year starters,” Lierman said. “They’re learning as we go. We’re trying to catch them up and speed up the learning a little bit.”