Liberty ends losing streak with win over Truman

PrepsKC staff

By Andy Meyer PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 7, 2016 - 11:22 PM

Propelled by an impressive aerial attack, Liberty soared to its most complete performance yet.

The Blue Jays delivered an impressive effort in every phase of the game and got back on the winning track with a 51-7 victory Friday night against Truman.

Quarterback Thomas Henrichs threw four touchdowns passes, ran for another and led a rampant Liberty offense to its highest point total of the season during the penultimate regular-season contest.

“I felt like our offense was really clicking, and we were getting things done up front,” Henrichs said. “Everything was working.”

The Blue Jays (6-2) sought a turnaround after dropping two consecutive games the past two weeks and needed only 90 seconds to get on the scoreboard when Henrichs connected with Tanner Swenson for a long touchdown pass.

Liberty kicked a field goal on its second possession and kept it rolling when Henrichs found Swenson wide open again early into the second quarter, making it 17-0. Scoring points has been one of Liberty’s strengths all year, and the fast start only boosted Henrichs’ confidence.

“My confidence spiked after those first couple drives,” Henrichs said. “I started to get in a groove, and it took off after that.”

Needing to stem the tide of momentum, Truman struggled to find a rhythm offensively, and fumbled away possession on back-to-back drives in late in the second quarter. An interception on the final play of the first half continued the turnover trend for the Patriots.

“It just really steamrolled in a hurry. That’s basically what happened,” Truman coach Gregg Webb said. “It got going the wrong direction, and we could not get out of that hole.”

Making matters worse, quarterback Aaron Lehman left the game with an injury during the first half and wouldn’t return.

Meanwhile, Henrichs continued his record-setting day that resulted in a career-best four touchdowns and 207 yards passing. He also showed his big-play ability, as six of his eight completions went for 20 yards or more.

Liberty coach Chad Frigon praised the junior for his steady progress he’s made throughout the season.

“You can just see him growing as a quarterback,” Frigon said. “He has so much talent in his arm, and he’s starting to understand the rest of the game that goes along with it.”

Standout running back Robert Rawie finished with 135 yards from scrimmage and two touchdown (one rushing and one receiving), while Swenson hauled in three touchdown receptions and 125 yards.

Not to be outdone, Liberty’s defense also turned in its best point total of the season and came away with five turnovers — three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

“They really play well together, and as a team,” Frigon said. “Those turnovers are big, and they thrive on them. They haven’t got them the last couple weeks, so it was good to get back on the positive side this week.”

After scoring at least 36 points each of the past three weeks, Truman (3-5) avoided the shutout when quarterback Donald Edmondson led a late touchdown drive and snuck into the end zone in the fourth quarter.

The Patriots displayed a balanced running attack that 200 rushing yards, but they struggled to sustain drives for much of the contest. Lehman tallied 41 rushing yards before exiting with an injury, while Juan Flores and Alex Kimble both made positive contributions in the run game.

“We knew we were going to have to be really good offensively to keep our defense off the field,” Webb said. “And our offense, as good as it was last week, was as bad this week.”