By Ben Stroup
Talk about starting fast …
Liberty set the tone early, parlaying a 28-0 first-quarter advantage into a convincing 38-0 season-opening win over host Orange Friday night in Lewis Center.
After the teams traded possessions through the opening half of the first, the Patriots (1-0) took charge when quarterback Alex Lando connected with Will Fowler for a 35-yard scoring strike with 6:40 to play in the quarter. Scott Goodwill added the extra point to make it a 7-0 game.
Lando did it again just more than two minutes later, finding Ford Matthews from 26 yards out for his second touchdown pass of the contest. Goodwill’s PAT was again perfect.
Liberty’s ground game got in on the act after that, as Nick Durtschi added a 32-yard TD run with 1:50 left in the opening frame before Jacob Wiseman sprinted in from 24 yards out on the final play of the quarter.
Goodwill added a 39-yard field goal early in the second before Durtschi darted in from five yards out 3:17 before the break to smooth out the scoring summary.
Liberty outgained Orange 302-50 in the win, with Orange committing the only two turnovers of the game. Lando completed nine of his 13 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns while Durtschi had 103 yards on 12 carries to go with his two scores.
J.D. Dayhuff and Will Phillis split time behind center for Orange, combining to complete four of their 15 passes for just 28 yards. Tyler Lichter was the team’s leading rusher with 17 yards.
Ben Stroup can be reached on Twitter @delgazette_ben.