- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
When the Ava Bears picked up a first-and-10 at the Liberty 11-yard line with under a minute left in the game, it looked like an overtime period might be in order.
But the Bears ran out of downs at the 7-yard line and Liberty was able to take a knee and run the final 19 seconds off the clock for a 20-13 win last Friday night.
The win should give Mtn. View-Liberty its first-ever SCA title, and a good shot at an undefeated conference season, with Houston and Willow Springs in weeks nine and 10.
As the three-game district schedule begins this week, Liberty will have Cuba at home Friday night.
The Bears, on the other hand, will wrap up the fourth and final leg of consecutive road trips this week, traveling to Buffalo for the first week of the district schedule.
The Bears, which have not played at home since Sept. 17, will host Rogersville on Oct. 22 and Mtn. Grove on Oct. 29.
Liberty went 79 yards to score on its first possession Friday night, with the touchdown coming on a 34-yard run by Derek Daniels. Daniels also added the kick for the point-after, and the Eagles led 7-0 at 7:57 in the first quarter.
Mtn. View-Liberty would take a 14-0 lead with 3:58 left in the second quarter on a one-yard run by Daniel Porter, and the PAT by Daniels.
Following that score, Austin Gastineau returned the kickoff to the Ava 36, and the Bears went 64 yards to score with 1:06 left on the first-half clock.
The drive was climaxed by an 8-yard touchdown run by Taylor Coonts, who also had a 32-yard run on the drive.
Brock Mitchell’s kick trimmed the lead to 14-7.
Brett Lambert also had a first-down run on the drive, and the Bears got a bonus first down at the Liberty 43-yard line when Liberty was flagged for a face mask call.
Ava had another scoring opportunity before the end of the half, started by a fumble recovery by the Bears’ Chance Deal on the kickoff return.
Ava took over at the Liberty 28-yard line with 59 seconds left in the half. Quarterback Garrett Baird completed a pass to Pete Leonard at the 19 then passed to Dalton Allen for a first down at the 12. On second down, Baird completed a pass to Leonard in the corner of the end zone, but the official ruled he was out of bounds.
Baird again found Allen at the 4-yard line, then completed another pass to Leonard who came up just short of the first down to end the half.
The Ava quarterback completed seven of 11 passes Friday for 52 yards.
Liberty’s next scoring drive began at the Ava 47-yard line following a nice punt by Ava’s Austin Clayton and an equally good return for Liberty at 7:11 in the third period.
Liberty picked up a first down at the 20-yard line, and a first-and-goal at the 9 from where Porter would take the ball in for the score with 5:36 left in the quarter.
Daniels had left the game with an injury on the Eagles’ previous possession, and Coty Martin stepped up to attempt the extra point, which failed, to make the score 20-7.
The ensuing kickoff by Liberty was a short one, covered up by Deal at the 50-yard line. But an over-eager Liberty defender hit Deal after the whistle, moving the ball to the Eagles’ 36-yard line where Ava would start with a first-and-10.
Baird passed to Leonard for a first down at the 25-yard line, then Coonts picked up first downs at the 12 and the 1-yard line before diving in for the score with 3:06 remaining on the third quarter clock.
Mitchell’s kick missed its mark and the 20-13 score would be the final.
Ava’s Dillon Adams made a big stop on Liberty on fourth-and-4 at the 12-yard line.
Ava took over there with 7:38 left and maintained control of the ball until Liberty batted down a Baird pass on fourth down at the Liberty 8-yard line with 19 ticks left on the game clock.
Coonts carried 25 times for 128 yards Friday night and Lambert had 45 yards on 16 carries.
Ava had 220 yards total offense.
Deal had 10 tackles for Ava, including one for a loss, and a fumble recovery.