The quarterfinals match between Lamar and Liberty was anything but new, as the Eagles fall to the Tigers for the third straight postseason 55-14.
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Early on in the first quarter, Lamar jumped out on top when Jared Beshore intercepted a Jaelon Acklin throw at midfield. This momentum carried the Tigers to a 9 yard Levi Petersen touchdown three plays later, which then stimulated Lamar’s powerful offensive drive, pounding the Tigers’ defensive game plan.
Lamar’s Beshore (4) and Petersen (3) stole the show, as they both combined for a total of seven touchdowns which brings the Tigers one step closer to a consecutive state title appearance.
“We really got off to a fast start; Jared’s interception at the beginning really set the tempo for the whole game,” said Petersen. “That’s something we have been doing really well this year, and we need to keep that momentum to get back to our goal at state. Experience builds confidence, we have been here before, so we know what to expect.”
Lamar’s secret to success was their defense being able to contain Liberty’s speed, and that’s exactly what they did. The Tigers were able to maintain their position on the line of scrimmage, and run the Eagles to the sideline only allowing them to a total of two touchdowns.
The Tigers finding themselves again for the fourth time in the state semifinals game is nothing short of impressive. Lamar’s program builds success off of hard work in the offseason, developing players early, and staying healthy as much as possible.
“The biggest thing for our program was just finally getting there in 2009, beating Fair Grove in the quarterfinals. So now our kids knew they could do it,” Lamar head coach Scott Bailey said. “One year building off another, our old kids are sharing the traditions with the younger kids which then provides the team with the expectations to be successful.”
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The tide never seemed to turn for Liberty, as their defense failed to step it up to the level of Lamar’s offense.
“Lamar is a hot team right now, they’re scoring a lot of points, and we got down early. We just tried to stick with our game plan as much as we could,” Liberty head coach Darin Acklin said. “Lamar is just better, they have more players that are stronger than we are and they are fast all the way around. Lamar just has more horses in the stable than we have right now.”
Lamar will host Caruthersville Saturday November 17 at 1:30 p.m.