Liberty North outlasts Titans in defensive slugfest

Liberty North football won its five straight game with a 22-15 win over Lee’s Summit West on Friday, Oct. 16 at Liberty North High School. Eagles tight end Aiden Anderson is pictured celebrating after a touchdown reception during a game Oct. 9.

LIBERTY — Liberty North did it again.

The Eagles started slow, relied on their defense shutting down the opposing offense for most of the final three quarters and hit a home-run touchdown late in the game to seal a 22-15 win over Lee’s Summit West.

The Titans drove into Liberty North territory on their first possession before the Eagles buckled down to force a punt. Too bad for Liberty North, the ball was downed on the 1-yard line. Senior running back Zac Willingham-Davis was tackled for a safety on the Eagles first offensive play.

The Eagles got a little more breathing room as they started the next series on their own 6-yard line, but LSW forced and recovered a fumble on a reception by Justis Braden.

The Titans needed a personal foul penalty on the Eagles to keep the drive going, but quarterback Trysten Keeney ultimately found wide receiver Wyatt Ramsey for a 9-yard passing touchdown.

Liberty North responded on its next series as senior quarterback Joe Kroenke connected with Kaidan Armstead for an 11-yard score. In the middle of the second quarter, Kroenke found Davis Rockers for a 31-yard touchdown and again on the two-point attempt to take a 14-8 lead into halftime.

The Titans were not ready to give up.

LSW running back Taylor Wilson ran the ball five straight times to open the team’s first possession out of the break. He gained 40 yards and finished off the scoring drive with a 6-yard touchdown play to put the Titans up 15-14.

It was all defense from there until Armstead broke free for a 73-yard touchdown reception from Kroenke with under six minutes to play.

The biggest difference this week was that senior running back Zac Willingham-Davis didn’t explode for the huge play down the stretch.

In fact, Willingham-Davis had a season-low 38 rushing yards on 12 carries. Junior Cayden Arzola led the team in rushing but only had 49 yards himself, although he picked it up on just seven carries.

Liberty North (5-2, 4-2 Suburban Gold) is out of the conference race for first, but the Eagles gained ground on crosstown rival Liberty (7-1, 6-1 SG) in the district race after the Blue Jays lost to Raymore-Peculiar.

Liberty North should be able to retain second place over Rock Bridge if the Eagles finish the season with another win, their sixth in a row. The Eagles will close out the regular season against Blue Springs South 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 at Liberty North High School.

Sports Writer Mac Moore can be reached at 389-6643 or mac.moore@mycouriertribune.com.

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