The Liberty Lions absolutely crushed the Red Mountain Lions on Friday night, shutting them out 30-0. In only their second meeting in history, coming nearly ten months to the day from when the two met for the first time at the 6A State Championship game, Liberty displayed that despite their youth they’re still a force to be reckoned with.
Things looked promising for Red Mountain at first, especially with a big defensive play coming from junior linebacker Skylar Edmonds about four minutes in. Edmonds was able to pick off Liberty senior quarterback Brock Mast and get the ball into Liberty territory, but unfortunately they weren’t able to put any points on the board.
The first quarter ended with Liberty driving down the field, which eventually ended with a field goal to put the Lions on top 3-0 with 9:25 left in the second. Red Mountain offense began to really feel the pressure of the Liberty defense, and it was evident in their quick three and out.
Liberty took over at their own 47-yard line with 7:15 left to play and did a great job of attacking the ground game slowly but steadily to continue chopping away at the clock as they advanced down the field. Senior Cailin Knapp punched the ball into the end zone from one yard out for the first touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the half.
Red Mountain attempted to answer back with what little time they had left, but unfortunately weren’t able to score before time ran out. It seemed as if the same struggling feeling followed the team into the locker room and haunted them like a ghost for the remainder of the night.
Liberty opened up the second half with another touchdown from Knapp to extend the lead to 17-0, and from then on, it was lights out for Liberty. They continued to tack on two more touchdowns through the game, with Mast connecting with both junior Jordon Guevara and senior Sam Wolfer.
Offensively, Mast was able to complete 19 of his 25 passes for around 225 yards. They also managed to rack up nearly 120 yards rushing. Meanwhile for the defense, they held Red Mountain to under 50 rushing yards total and around 120 passing yards, with quarterback Evan Svobodo only completing 13 of 27 pass attempts.
“To come out and shut them out is a huge confidence boost for this program, for how young we are and for our seniors, too,” Mast Said.
Knapp added on to Mast’s comment, saying, “They came out and played hard, but we played harder, and everyone doubted us this week but we proved ourselves, and that shutout was the way to do it.”
The win marked a huge milestone for new Head Coach Colin Thomas, who took over the program last year after Coach Mark Smith left for Washington.
“We want to keep growing and get better. We still are really young,” Thomas said. He touched on how prominent players like Knapp and Mast are to the team.
“Cail (Knapp) is a playmaker. We can use him at quarterback, we can use him at receiver, he’s ran the ball for us before. He can do a lot for us and is just a great kid. And Brock (Mast), he’s just steady back there. More times than not, he’s not going to make mistakes and he’s gonna get the ball where it needs to be to keep the offense moving,” Thomas said.
Next week, Liberty takes on Sunrise Mountain at home while Red Mountain travels to Mesa Mountain View for week three of the season. Both teams now hold a 1-1 record.