By Ben Stroup
Trent Davies powered into the end zone from 10 yards out to give Liberty a brief 21-17 third-quarter lead, but visiting Central Crossing scored the last 20 points of the game, all in the fourth quarter, to cement a 37-21 OCC-Central Division win Friday in Powell.
The Comets’ Deric Williamson hooked up with Noah Stephens for a nine-yard scoring strike with 11:16 left in the fourth, giving Central Crossing (3-1, 1-0 OCC) a 23-21 lead — an advantage it never relinquished.
Blake Luebben added to the edge, returning a fumble for a 70-yard TD with 7:44 to play, and the Comets smoothed out the scoring summary when Williamson again found Stephens, this time from 15 yards out, for a touchdown at the 3:57 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Patriots (3-1, 0-1 OCC) broke the scoring seal when Alex Lando hit Johnny Wiseman for a nine-yard touchdown five minutes into the first quarter.
The Comets answered with a field goal, then took a 10-7 lead when Williamson and Koran Montague connected for a 56-yard touchdown early in the second.
Central Crossing led 17-7 when Williamson and Stephens combined for their first of three scores 1:46 before the break, but Liberty managed to slice the halftime deficit to 17-14 as Lando found Brendon White from 10 yards out with three seconds left in the second.
The Patriots moved the ball at will, but hanging onto it was a bit of a problem. Liberty, which outgained Central Crossing 467-356, finished with a minus-five turnover margin. Lando threw a pair of picks and the Patriots fumbled three times, losing all three.
Lando completed 29 of his 40 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns while Davies rushed for a game-high 96 yards.
Wiseman led the receiving corps with nine grabs for 84 yards while White finished with five for 74. Tight end Drew Rosi was also solid, hauling in seven receptions covering 61 yards.
Williamson, meanwhile, efficiently ran the Comet offense, completing 20 of his 31 passes for 316 yards and four TDs. Stephens was his top target, making eight grabs for 116 yards and the three scores.
Liberty returns to action Friday against host Upper Arlington.