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'Those were some fireworks': Notes from Liberty Ranch-Gregori

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Posted: Friday, September 14, 2012 8:35 pm

"Those were some fireworks." -- Liberty Ranch coach Bryan Golder. 

That was the nice, succinct summary.

Here are some numbers and tidbits from the Hawks' dazzling offensive display on Thursday:

Tempo, tempo, tempo: In the end, that was the difference.

During summer, Golder stressed the need to crank up the pace of his attack. That came to full fruition against the Jaguars, a team much bigger and more athletic than his Hawks.

"I've never seen a team more athletic in my life. They go right at you," Golder said. "But as the game went on, the faster we went. We stuck to our game plan."

Liberty Ranch turned on the tempo after halftime, especially, and ended with 36 unanswered points after trailing 33-28 in the third. On four or five plays, Golder said, the Hawks got off their snap at the line while Gregori's defense was still getting settled.

That performance has to be an encouraging sign heading into league play.

For much of this preseason, Liberty Ranch was getting its points in workman-like fashion, without many highlight-reel plays. But Thursday, Golder said, his team showed glimpses of last year's explosive Hawks.

Four plays went for at least 40 yards, including a 70-yard run by Willie Holman.

"We don't have breakaway speed," he said, "but we have deceptive speed. We're getting back up to that level."

By the numbers: Thursday's 64-point explosion was the second-highest total by a Liberty Ranch varsity team in the program's short history. Only last year's regular season finale, a 65-0 destruction of Galt, featured more.

Yardage-wise, though, the win over Gregori set a new standard. The Hawks' 675 total yards of offense set a school mark.

The stable strikes again: Liberty Ranch wore the Jaguars down, pure and simple, with its deep backfield.

Balance? Depth? Check, check.

Five rushers had at least 75 yards: Trevon Windley (134), Eliceo Pintor (101), Matt Thomas (89), Matt Holland (77) and Holman (76).

The most carries for either back? Fifteen.

Passing game clicks: Jake Tibbetts had his best game of the season, an ultra-efficient 12-for-16 for 180 yards, with three scores. All three were caught by wideout Jake Oliver, who overcame a flu to post eight catches for 101 yards.

"We were cracking jokes (for Jake) like, 'Hey, this is going to be your Joe Montana game,'" Golder said.

"And Jake, it was his best night. Calm, cool, collected, he wasn't rushing any throw. He commanded the field."

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