WEST LAFAYETTE Liberty Center brought Ridgewoods 27-regular season win streak to an end by knocking off the Generals on a hot Saturday afternoon, 28-14. It was their first regular season loss in three years.
The Tigers, who themselves are unbeaten at 7-0, are ranked eighth in Division V. They had given up only 12 points all season, including shut-outs of four of their six opponents. The Generals managed to break that total by themselves in just 48 minutes although their total could have been much higher but three lost fumbles and an interception proved deadly.
Liberty Center came out strong and shot out to an early 14-0 lead, then withstood a General comeback in the second half.
The Tigers first scored on a 56 yard drive when Sean Westhoven, a 5-11, 190 pound sophomore, scored from the one. The big play was a 29-yard pass from junior quarterback Josh Drain to Devin Johnson deep into General territory.
Liberty Center drove hard on its next possession but Ridgewood got on track and brought the drive to a halt, only to see the Tigers execute a fake punt to perfection. It was Westhoven doing the honors again, this time on a 35-yard reception from punter Bryan Hefflinger. The score stood 14-0 after the two-point conversion.
The Generals hurt themselves in the second quarter on offense by penetrating into Tiger territory twice only to lose fumbles each time to end the threats.
Liberty Center opened the third quarter with another score by Westhoven to make it 21-0.
The Generals came roaring back though as quarterback Chris Saylor hit Jake Ziegler on a 34-yard pass to get the ball to the Tiger 32. Trent Lingo eventually found the end zone on a 14-yard run and the score stood 21-7.
Liberty Center then had two drives stall. On both occasions they tried fake punts. The first worked and the second failed. Though they didnt score either time, they did manage to run more precious time off the clock.
After the failed fake punt, the Generals took over at the Tiger 36 and Saylor quickly hit Dakota Albertson for a 36-yard TD. That closed the gap to 21-14 with 6:36 to go in the game.
The Tigers were forced to punt on their next drive. Ridgewood responded by moving well from its own four-yard line but Saylor had a pass intercepted at the Tiger 45 to end the threat.
Liberty Center then scored with 1:29 to go in the game for the final points of the day.
The Tigers racked up 266 yards on the ground with Westhoven pounding out 183 of that total on 30 carries. He also scored three times.
The Generals (6-1) amassed 156 ground yards. Lingo led the team with 45 yards on 11 carries while Lenard Davidson finished with 41 yards.
Ridgewood travels to Garaway this Friday for a key IVC match-up. Kick-off is at 7 p.m.
Liberty Center 14 0 7 7 - 28
Ridgewood 0 0 7 7 - 14