LIBERTY — Kaden Rottjakob was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goals Friday, Oct. 11, including a 37-yard game winner in double overtime that gave Liberty a 23-20 home win over Lee’s Summit West.
“Our kids have been in a lot of close ballgames this year and this was really the first close one we have come out on top since week one,” Liberty coach Chad Frigon said.
By the numbers, it appeared to be Lee’s Summit West’s game.
The Titans out-gained the Blue Jays 418 yards to 172. Lee’s Summit West rushed the ball 52 times for 247 yards, with Taylor Wilson leading the way with 192 yards on 35 carries. The Titans controlled the time of possession game with 29:08 compared to Liberty’s 17:05.
One category where the Blue Jays controlled the advantage though was in the turnover column.
Liberty notched a fumble recovery and three interceptions.
Lee’s Summit West struck first on a 26-yard field goal by Cole Stewart with 6:48 left in the first quarter.
Liberty answered as Rottjakob made his first of three field goals, this one from 30 yards to level the game at 3-3 with 55 seconds left in the quarter.
Of Liberty’s 23 points Friday night, someone with the last name of Dennis or Rottjakob accounted for each one.
Alek Rottjakob kicked the extra points for the home team, while Kaden Rottjakob kicked the field goals.Caden Dennis was the lone Blue Jay to find the end zone. And he did so with a pick-6 and a TD catch.
“He is a kid that keeps getting better each week,” Frigon said.
The Blue Jays, of course, had the advantage in the kicking game.Liberty secured the one-point lead heading into halftime after blocking the point after attempt.
No team saw the scoring column again until late in the fourth when Dennis recorded a 90-yard pick-6 for a 17-9 Liberty lead.
However, Lee’s Summit West executed its two-minute offense late in the fourth quarter, as Cooper found a diving Grant McAtee at the front corner of the end zone from 18 yards out to draw the Titans within two. On the two-point try, Cooper scrambled out of the pocket and found the end zone to tie it 17-17.
The teams exchanged field goals in the first overtime period before Liberty then came up with a second blocked kick in the second OT period ahead of Rottjakob’s game-winner.
“We knew we just had to score,” Frigon saidThe Blue Jays were careful with their offensive playcalling on its possession.
It then came down to the leg of Kaden Rottjakob.
His longest made attempt in game action prior to Friday night was 35 yards.
The 37-yard attempt sailed though the uprights as the Blue Jays stormed the field.
“We have seen him do that in practice a number of times and it was good to see him walk out there and confidently knock it through,” Frigon said.
With the win, Liberty improved to 3-4 on the season while Lee’s Summit West moved at 4-3. The win broke Liberty’s three-game losing streak to Lee’s Summit West. The Titans won the last three meetings in 1024, 2015 and 2018.
Up next for Liberty (3-4) is a road contest at winless St. Joseph Central at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18.