Liberty North District Championship

Liberty North’s Micah Jo Barnett carries the ball against Park Hill South during the Class 6 District 4 Championship on Friday, Nov. 12.

Focus and determination highlighted Liberty North’s huge win against Park Hill South Friday, Nov. 12, in the Class 6 District 4 Championship game.

The Eagles got by the Panthers 34-14 in a strong defensive showing. This is the second game in a row where Liberty North’s defense allowed only 14 points.

The Eagles’ Melvin Laster has been everywhere on the field in the middle linebacker position. He accounted for six tackles and a sack against Park Hill South.

The effectiveness of Laster came from the strong play of Darius Pahmahmie at the nose tackle position according to head coach Greg Jones.

“Melvin’s been playing at a high level for so long that he’s just a natural at the game with what he sees, Jones said. “When the nose doesn’t play that well, it’s hard for the linebackers. But, Darius played so well Friday night that Melvin was free running everywhere.”

Once again, Liberty North’s offense came from the running game where Cayden Arzola and Micah Jo Barnett ran all over the opposing defense.

Arzola rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown while Barnett added 82 yards of his own.

The offensive line was able to get that opening push and open holes for the two runners.

“Those guys come to work every day,” Jones said. “They are very coachable, they listen and they can make adjustments.”

Liberty North will travel to Troy-Buchanan and face the Trojans in the Class 6 State Semifinals Saturday, Nov. 20. The Eagles will head east to outside of the St. Louis area for one of their toughest matchups to date. The Trojans are 10-2 on the season and made it to the final four by scoring a last second touchdown to win the game.

The Eagles will be ready for their clash against the Trojans in the state semifinals. According to Jones, his team has embraced the mantra and mindset of being tough.

“Control what you can control,” Jones said. “We do not control the fact that we have to travel to St. Louis, but we can control how we handle it.”

Sports Writer Liam Keating can be reached at sports@mycouriertribune.com, 389-6643 or @myctsports on Twitter.

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