LIBERTY — For a second straight week, the Liberty Blue Jays had a chance to put together a scoring drive and earn a conference victory.
But much like the previous week, the Blue Jays couldn’t get it done, ultimately resulting in a 29-21 Homecoming loss to Park Hill South inside the Liberty Hospital Activity Complex on Friday, Oct. 4.
“Both times we’ve had the ball with a chance to take the lead at the end of the game but we haven’t been able to get it done,” Blue Jays coach Chad Frigon said. “That’s two weeks in a row we’ve thrown a pick-six in the second half, and it’s hard to overcome those type of mistakes. We have to do a better job of that.”
The pick-six Frigon’s referring to came out of the hands of Luke Smith, who returned from a one-week injury absence, with one minute remaining in the contest. The Blue Jays were down 22-21 at the time, following Park Hill South capping a 98-yard drive with Mike Suchanick’s touchdown with 3:05 left.
Liberty (2-4, 2-2 Suburban Red) led Park Hill South (2-3, 1-2) 14-10 at halftime and 21-16 after the third quarter.
“We were leading in the fourth quarter and had a couple chances to extend our lead and we didn’t,” Frigon said. “They went on a 98-yard drive and capped it off with a touchdown that they initially fumbled into the end zone and jumped on it.”
Smith finished 10-of-24 passing for 81 yards and an interception.
Wentric Williams III and the offensive line had a big night on the ground as the sophomore ran 35 times for 137 yards and two touchdowns, an 8-yard run to give the Blue Jays a 10-7 lead with 3:25 left in the second quarter and a 2-yard run for a 21-16 lead with 1:43 left in the third.
“Our production in the passing game wasn’t there; we only passed for 80 yards and that was frustrating,” Frigon said. “(Williams) was real steady and ran extremely hard between the tackles to pick up good yardage for us. We just did not have the big play.”
That’s what has escaped the Blue Jays for much of the season, Frigon said.
“We gave up two long touchdown passes with some coverage issues, but all in all, I thought we slowed down their run game,” he added. “They played well enough for us to win. Offensively, we did not.”Next up, Liberty will look to avoid a four-game losing skid as it hosts Lee’s Summit West (4-2).
“We have to focus on what’s ahead of us and try to make the most of it,” Frigon said. “They’ve had some games where they’ve put up a huge amount of points. They beat Staley 40-0 and then dropped a tough one to Lee’s Summit North.
“For us, it’s going to be able to score points. We’ve shown that we can hold people in check consistently.”