No. 15 Liberty runs over Mount Hebron, 49-6

September 24, 1995|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Before his team's game at Mount Hebron yesterday, Liberty running back Bill Shaffer worried about how he would perform. He said a variety of leg ailments concerned him, but they somehow disappeared on his first carry.

Shaffer then demonstrated his improved health with touchdown runs of 91, 78 and 69 yards on the way to 326 yards rushing -- 287 in the first half -- as No. 15 Liberty trounced Mount Hebron, 49-6.

Liberty (3-0), which scored 95 points in its first two games, knocked out Mount Hebron (2-1) with several big plays -- most from Shaffer, who had only 11 carries.

"This is it, this is the dream," said Shaffer, 6 feet and 175 pounds. "I never thought I could do this well."

The Liberty offensive line of Bill Marriott, Ottis Roebuck, Jeff Muse, Jim Smutek and Gaelen Cross helped open big holes for Shaffer against the five- and six-man fronts Mount Hebron showed. The Lions finished with 430 yards rushing and 460 yards total offense.

Each Shaffer touchdown came on a variation of the same play -- a guard trap. Each time, Shaffer burst through a huge hole and raced to daylight, helping the Lions take a 21-0 halftime lead.

He scored the game's first touchdown on a 69-yard run with 5:49 left in the first quarter, got the second (91 yards) on the second play of the second quarter and the final one (78 yards) with 6:37 remaining in the half.

Shaffer nearly scored another touchdown with two minutes left in the half, but got caught after 32 yards.

"He's a back that takes things to closure," said Liberty coach Ken Johnson. "He's fast. I was impressed."

The rest of the Lions pitched in after the break. Josh Denning, Scott Taylor and Chad Counts scored on touchdown runs of 56, 15 and 20 yards, respectively, and quarterback Ryan Pagels tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Luke Vriezen.

Vriezen went 7-for-7 on extra-point kicks, including a 35-yard boot after a penalty.

A 21-point fourth quarter sealed the rout for the Lions.

The lone score for Mount Hebron came in the third quarter. The Vikings took the second-half kickoff and drove 61 yards on 12 plays, capped by a 5-yard touchdown pass from John Smith to Mike McCarthy.

The Vikings ran well at times, led by Scott Kelly (54 yards), as they registered 11 first downs. Problems came, however, when the swarming Liberty defense shut them down.

But the Vikings could not shut down Shaffer or Liberty.

"We were set up in a defense where they should not have been able to run up the gut like that," said Hebron coach Bill Winder.

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