A week after Galt’s wild 35-34 comeback victory over Valley, it was Liberty Ranch’s turn.
On Friday, the Hawks rebounded from a 27-12 halftime deficit to take defeat Laguna Creek 34-33 at Cosumnes River College.
“It’s just a tremendous boost,” Liberty Ranch coach Anthony Linebaugh said about his team’s confidence level. “I have a feeling we’re going to look back at this as a turning point. We had a really tough preseason, and we learned a lot about ourselves.”
After Liberty Ranch (2-3) took its first lead of the game on a 20-yard Gabe Nino touchdown run with about five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, with a Leo Soto point after, Laguna Creek responded with a touchdown about a minute later, a 10-yard Jared Miller pass to Christian Johnson.
The Hawks’ Darren Harper broke through to block the point-after attempt, handing Liberty Ranch the one-point victory.
“We really didn’t make wholesale changes in terms of adjustments,” Linebaugh said. “We just reviewed our assignments, went over what we needed to do, and we just executed better.”
Liberty Ranch held a tenuous 9-7 lead after one quarter thanks for a 17-yard Soto field goal and a 6-yard Jonathan Thomas touchdown run, while Laguna Creek’s Tyrell Brown scored on a 15-yard run.
The Cardinals turned it up in the second quarter, with two touchdowns — Kelvin Ellis from 10 yards and Brown on a 90-yard kickoff return. The teams also traded field goals.
Then it was Liberty Ranch’s turn in the third, with another Thomas score from 15, and a 30-yard Matthew Hopper touchdown pass to Nino. With a 2-point conversionby Thomas, and a Soto point-after, that tied the score and set up the theatrics of the fourth quarter.
Now the Hawks (2-3) have a bye week before heading into Sierra Valley Conference play.
On Friday, Galt High kept visiting Mira Loma winless with a 51-0 victory.