LIBERTY – Liberty High faithful were left with a disappointing end to a night filled with homecoming festivities Friday night.
After a shootout with Landrum in the team’s second region contest of the year, the Liberty High football team found itself drawing the short end of the stick as the seconds ticked down in Friday’s 38-33 loss.
The Red Devils now sit at a disappointing 0-5 on the season.
“It’s frustrating when you’re right there,” head coach Kyle Stewart said of his team’s winless record. “You’re talking about one or two little things here and there that would have completely changed the outcome of this ball game and several others we have played this year. I just hate it for these kids.”
Liberty found itself needing two late scores in the fourth quarter to complete a dramatic comeback over Landrum, and it nearly happened.
A liberty touchdown narrowed the gap to 38-33 with several minutes remaining, and a defensive stop would have given the Red Devils the ball with a relatively short field to maneuver. A few late controversial calls, however, allowed Landrum to simply run out the clock.
“I won’t comment on officiating,” Stewart said. “Our kids fought their butts off and I cannot ask anything more of them other than what they are giving me. They’re working hard, paying attention and getting after it. Sometimes things that happen are out of your control.”
Stewart said the losses are frustrating for a team he believes is working hard.
“I know what these kids are putting in and it’s obvious this team is improving week to week,” Stewart said. “I just want them to keep focused and understand it’s a matter of time and things are going to go their way. There’s no way things could continue to not go their way all year.”
Stewart said his team showed the grit needed to win games several times during Friday night’s loss.
“We were down by more than 10 a couple of times and it would be very easy to be negative and kind of phone it in, but they don’t do that,” Stewart said. “That’s got to be what I’m most proud of.”
Looking ahead, the head coach said his team will need to fine tune a few things on defense if they are going to have success at Chesnee this week.
“We’ve just got to fine tune some things,” Stewart said. “We’ll look at tape and try to find what will give us the best opportunity to win and that’s what we’ll focus on.”
“There’s nothing bad I can say about those boys in red shirts,” he said. “The heartbreaking thing for me is, I see how much they put in and they deserve a reward for how hard they’ve played these last few ball games.”
Kickoff this Friday at Chesnee is set for 7:30 p.m.