Salina Roll 42-7 Against Washington

The Salina Liberty (4-2) defeated the Washington Wolfpack (1-5) 42-7 at Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina, Kansas.

Relentless Ground Game

The Liberty continued to display their dominance on the ground, on the legs of quarterback Jamario Benson and halfback Tracy Brooks.

The pair dominated with three consecutive touchdowns in the second quarter. Brooks scored the first touchdown for the Liberty on a 5-yard rush after Benson set up the goal line opportunity on a 17-yard option run.

The team scored on the next drive with back-to-back rushes by Brooks and Benson at the goal line as Benson scored on a 2-yard gain on the second attempt. The offensive chemistry between the pair was no more evident than on the third score for the Liberty on the day as Benson dumped off the football to Brooks on a screenplay that went the distance for a 25-yard touchdown.

Not letting up in the second half, Brooks scored two more touchdowns on the ground, rounding out his touchdown total to four on the day. Benson added another touchdown to the total for the Liberty, connecting with wide receiver Demarius Washington on a 25-yard post route.

Aggressive Defense

The Liberty defense controlled the Wolfpack offense by effectively containing quarterback Jacob Ta’ase. The coverage of the Liberty secondary gave Ta’ase little room to throw, while the defensive line put constant pressure on the Liberty offensive line.

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In three consecutive drives leading to three consecutive scores, defensive back Freddie McGee, who had two on the day, came away with an interception. Henry Kellogg sacked Ta’ase for a fumble, Travis Taylor came away with a fumble recovery, and the team put together a three-and-out.

The Liberty defense attacked the middle of the line with a combination of Kellog and Taylor, Joshua Frazier, and Justin Foster. They rotated between blitzes on the quarterback, leading to hard hits and sacks.

Kellogg, in particular, had a stellar day as he came away with five sacks in the first half alone. While Ta’ase was able to score a touchdown on the ground early in the second quarter, he could not get into a rhythm due to the aggression of the Liberty defense.

Offensive Line

The difference between the offensive lines separated the two teams in this game. The Liberty effectively controlled the Wolfpack defense by opening up large running gaps for Brooks and holding the line long enough to offer Benson the time to run an option play. The strength and unity of the line kept the Wolfpack defense guessing all game long.

On the other hand, the Wolfpack could not contain the Liberty defense. The various packages that the Liberty displayed with their defense showcased a deep and versatile roster against a Wolfpack offensive line that is still trying to find synchronicity.

While the Liberty line provided Benson and Brooks great looks on offense, the line for the Wolfpack gave Ta’ase scarce opportunity to scramble and no pocket to find throws.

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