The Liberty Eagles unfortunately can’t just skip the first quarter Friday when they face King George.
They’ve played great in every other period this football season, but the Eagles have committed six turnovers during a pair of first periods. Nonetheless, Liberty will still travel to King George as an undefeated team thanks to its two come-from-behind victories.
“We’ve got to find a way to click early,” Eagles coach Travis Buzzo said, “because then we can really be special.”
On Sept. 6, the Eagles improved to 2-0 by beating Courtland 40-35 despite falling behind 21-0 during the first quarter at home in Bealeton. They never led until quarterback Dylan Bailey threw a touchdown pass to receiver Wyatt Hicks from about 30 yards out with 57 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
A two-point conversion completed the 40-14 run.
“They’re resilient,” Buzzo said of his Eagles. “They never give up. At no point in that game did they ever think we were out of it. They were ready for that challenge.”
In a Week One win over Brentsville, Liberty rallied from a 7-0 deficit despite committing three turnovers in the opening four minutes of the game. Similarly, against Courtland, the Eagles lost a fumble on the first offensive play for the second consecutive week, then threw a pair of deflected interceptions for a 21-0 deficit.
“It was a lot like last week,” Buzzo said. “But Courtland cashed in on all of them.”
Liberty trailed by as much as 28-6 in the second quarter, but then finished the first half on a 20-0 run for only a 28-26 deficit at halftime.
“It’s really encouraging that if you come out flat your kids will respond,” Buzzo said.
Justin Lawson scored a pair of touchdowns against Courtland 1-1), so he will take some momentum into Liberty’s next game against King George (2-0).
“After watching them on film, I think they’re just as good as Courtland,” Buzzo said of the Foxes. “We’re going to have to play well to win.
King George will enter Friday with a 34-21 win over Stafford after their season-opening 31-27 victory against Orange.
“They’re a really good team,” Buzzo said. “They have big guys up front just like Courtland. We’re going to have to find a way, with our young D-line, to make plays.
“Their quarterback looked pretty good on film,” he said, “and they have some receivers that can catch the ball.”