PICKENS — After a slow start in the opening quarter, both Pickens and Liberty high team teams struggled to play offense but in the end the Blue Flame dominated 42-8.
Pickens was plagued by six penalties, a fumble recovery by Liberty’s Heath White and an intercepted pass by Eddy Mathis. Neither team was able to put points on the board in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, the Blue Flame ignited and the Red Devils found themselves busy trying to stop the Flame from consuming them. Pickens, on a 69-yard gain on five passes, scored with a three-yard touchdown run by Antron Wakefield, taking the lead with added extra point by Matt Gravely.
Pickens scored again midway in the second quarter after recovering a Liberty fumble on a two-yard run by Wakefield to go 14-0. Pickens once again got on the board with an Elijah Turner pass to Gunner Covey for a 21-0 lead. Antron Wakefield scored his third touchdown of the night with a two-yard run while Matt Gravely added the extra point for a score of 28-0.
Liberty received to start the third quarter but once again was unable to convert. The next scoring came on a drive by Pickens with a touchdown run by Jacob Addington and field goal by Gravely to extend the Blue Flame lead to 35-0.
Liberty once again took possession but returned possession to Pickens on a quarterback sack by Zach Roper with Jacob Peterman recovering for Pickens. Austin Clark added the next score and the Flame stood at 42-0.
Liberty’s only score of the game came midway in the fourth quarter with a pass interception by Payton Dameron who scored on a 60-yard touchdown run. A two-point conversion on a pass from Kyler Hostetler to Kris Murphy, gave Liberty 8 points to Pickens’ 42 points at games end.
“We know with Liberty it is going to be a battle, and we played sloppy early on, but our guys stayed the course, stayed focused, and overcame’ Coach Chad Seaborn said. “When it got rolling, and we cleaned things up, we saw some pretty good football take place.” He went on to say, “Our team’s maturity showed as they kept working and did not let up. We were able to overcome the penalties and mistakes made in the first half. We know we have some work to do as far as the penalties go. This is something we will have to address.”
Pickens ends with a record of 2-1, while Liberty ends with a 2-0 record.