Liberty 8, Heritage 6

Liberty's Christian Potter (left) tackles Heritage's Malachi Silver during Wednesday's game in Morganton.

A first-half touchdown and two-point conversion by the host Liberty Middle football team held up in Wednesday’s Foothills Athletic Conference opener as the Knights defeated Heritage, 8-6.

After the teams traded several turnovers early, Liberty (1-0 FAC) found its way into the end zone when Grayson Owens rushed for a 15-yard touchdown before Noah Goodman’s two-point conversion for an 8-0 advantage.

Heritage (0-1 FAC) finally got its offense in gear after halftime. Following a 30-minute delay due to lightning, the Eagles hit paydirt via a 40-yard TD off a halfback pass from Kelton Mitchell to Colton Lukmski. Liberty’s defense then rose up and held on the tying two-point attempt, preserving the victory.

LMS’ defense was led by Noah Goodman and Connor Berg, who recovered one fumble apiece.

“Very proud of our young men,” Liberty coach Ben Johnson said. “They continue to get better every day. Heritage played a great game today; hats off to them. We look to continue to improve on both sides of the ball and look forward to the rest of the season.”

 

Walter Johnson 30, E. McDowell 20

The Yellow Jackets (1-0-1, 1-0 FAC) were victorious Wednesday at home, producing 471 yards of total offense.

WJ was led by Nigel Dula, who rushed for 233 yards and two TDs on just nine attempts. Amore Connelly added 110 yards and one TD on the ground. Connelly also threw for 105 yards and a score to Dula. Connelly and Zion Thomas added two-point conversion runs, and Connor Pinkerton had a conversion reception from Connelly.

On defense, Dula’s seven tackles paced WJ. Pinkerton added five tackles and a fumble recovery and Thomas came away with three tackles and an interception.

 “I am just so proud of how the kids responded after Kaymen (Surratt) got hurt,” Jackets coach Stephen Hines said. “It was almost like the light turned on. I looked into their eyes and saw a competitive fire. Their body language changed, as if to say, ‘Let's play this for Kaymen.’”

 

Table Rock 32, Mitchell 18 (TUES.)

On Tuesday, the Falcons (1-0) captured an opening nonconference road win as Justice Cunningham rushed for four TDs, including a game-long 70-yarder.

TR’s Eli Tillery added a 25-yard TD pass to Noah Cooper, and Jaylen Barnett added an early 45-yard run to set up a Falcons’ score. The Falcons were led on defense by Julius Saratt (five tackles), Barnett (four tackles) and Sincere Corpening (three tackles).

           

W. McDowell 6, East Burke 0

The Raiders (1-1, 0-1 FAC) couldn’t make it two straight wins, falling Wednesday in Marion. EB’s defense was led by Avery Fraley, who came away with two interceptions.

 

Jonah Severt can be reached at sports@morganton.com.

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