Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – The Liberty High offense was about as efficient as possible.
The Lightning scored touchdowns in eight of their nine possessions Friday en route to a 55-7 victory over Clear Creek Amana at Clipper Field.
The Clippers tried to hang in there, but the Bolts began the second half by scoring three third-quarter touchdowns and it was no contest.
“They’re really good,” CCA coach Matt Haddy said. “I think it’s one of those things where we kind of got shell shocked and they kind of got going downhill, and we couldn’t really do anything to stop them. They got a lot of confidence.”
Liberty High rolled up 25 first downs.
It completed 21 of 26 passes, with no interceptions, for 270 yards.
It racked up 223 yards on the ground in 34 carries.
The offensive line was outstanding, whether opening holes for workhorse Trey Gregoire or providing protection for quarterback Graham Beckman.
“We were all frustrated by what happened at Western Dubuque,” Liberty High coach James Harris said. “We had to learn how to handle success; we played a close game and came up short. We had a big emphasis on focus this week. We got done with Wednesday practice, and I thought we were pretty accurate.”
Beckman had many different receivers from which to choose.
Eight different players caught passes.
Beckman threw for three touchdowns, and backup Reece Rettig threw for another.
Liberty featured a short passing game before letting it fly. Eleven completions went for fewer than 10 yards.
“It was more just to see what was there,” Beckman said. “We started out short and as soon as they start jump on us we go deep over their heads.”
One of the key receivers was senior Garrett Gregoire.
Liberty High led only 13-7 as the second quarter was winding down but stopped the Clippers on fourth-and-three when a run from punt formation came up short.
The Lightning put together a drive from their own 47 with 4:22 left in the half.
They reached the Clipper 26-yard line, but only 36 seconds remained.
A middle screen to Garrett Gregoire left the senior with room to move, and he weaved his way among the Clipper defenders and into the end zone.
The Bolts took a 20-7 lead into halftime and knew they were going to get the second-half kickoff.
“It was a little screen pass and there were great, great blocks,” Gregoire said.
“That gave us a lot of momentum scoring there,” Beckman said.
Liberty opened the second half with the ball, and on the sixth play from scrimmage Garrett Gregoire took off on a fly pattern and was wide open down the sideline.
Beckman dropped the ball right in his hands, and he had his second TD in 2-1/2 minutes of play.
“It was probably a better throw than catch,” Gregoire said. “It was on the money. Graham hit me right in the chest.
“We really compete against each other, me and my brother. He had two touchdowns and I had none. I can’t live in his shadow.”
The Bolts led 27-7 and the rout was on.
Both teams came in 2-1, with each team having lost a late-game heartbreaker.
But it was Liberty who owned the line of scrimmage and was nearly unstoppable. They dominated field position; their drives were 58, 71, 53, 66, 67, 62, 39 and 47 yards.
The Lightning defense gave up 186 rushing yards, 107 of which came in the first half.
CCA prefers to run the ball, but it didn’t have much else, completing 2-of-6 passes for 23 yards.
“They did what we assumed they were going to do,” Haddy said. “They played cover-zero in the back end and put a lot of guys in the box. For us we can’t get behind the sticks, and we got behind the sticks tonight.”
District play starts next week for both teams.
CCA (2-2) plays at Oskaloosa in 4A District 4 and Liberty (3-1) travels to Mount Pleasant in 4A District 3.
First downs 25 8
Rushes-yards 34-223 33-186
Comp-Att-Int 21-26-0 2-6-0
Passing yards 270 23
Total yards 493 209
Punts-avg. 1-34 5-30
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 4-32 2-26
Liberty High 6 14 21 14 – 55
Clear Creek Amana 7 0 0 0 – 7
ICL – Trey Gregoire 1 run (pass failed)
CCA – Reece Hoffman 16 pass from Jackson Schmidt (Max Carlson kick)
ICL – Gregoire 2 run (Hayden Saul kick)
ICL – Garrett Gregoire 26 pass from Graham Beckman (Saul kick)
ICL – G. Gregoire 39 pass from Beckman (Saul kick)
ICL – Wyatt Williams 48 pass from Beckman (Saul kick)
ICL – Owen Drapeaux 49 run (Saul kick)
ICL –Anhlyan Peoples 1 run (Saul kick)
ICL – Ian Covarrubias 18 pass from Reece Rettig (Saul kick)
RUSHING – ICL: Trey Gregoire 17-85, Owen Drapeaux 4-58, Anhlyan Peoples 7-55, Graham Beckman 6-25. CCA: Jackson Schmidt 12-107, Eli Mallicoat 5-44, Sam Pettinger 9-33, Nathan Speers 1-2, Ethan Vice 1-0, Reece Hoffman 1-0, Cale Berry 4-0
PASSING – ICL: Graham Beckman 20-25-0 252, Reece Rettig 1-1-0 18. CCA: Jackson Schmidt 1-4-0-16, Berry 1-2-0-7.
RECEIVING – ICL: Wyatt Williams 8-107, G. Gregoire 2-65, Christian Barney 4-22, Gabe Clark 2-20, Ian Covarrubias 1-18, Lucas Meyer 2-15, T. Gregoire 1-12, Drapeaux 1-11.
CCA: Hoffman 1-16, Owen Rosenberg 1-7.