LONGVIEW - On a perfect night for football, Liberty-Eylau put up 21 quick points and then hung on for dear life, scoring a 49-35 win over Brownsboro on Thursday in a Class 4A Division I bi-district football playoff at Pine Tree Stadium.
“We gave them 21 points and then made them sit up and take notice. Boy, we fought and fought and fought, but we just couldn’t get all the way back,” said Bears head coach Greg Pearson.
The Leopards (6-5) advance to meet Dallas Carter, a 49-21 winner over Mineral Wells, next week in the area round.
Brownsboro ends its season at 5-6.
In the first quarter, L-E’s touchdowns were from Decorian Phillips (14 yards), Cedric Dickerson (1) and a Phillips’ 26-yard pass to Mahleik Darty. Steven Goben kicked all three extra points for a 21-0 Leopard lead.
The Leopards’ Dickerson scored his second touchdown on a two-yard blast midway through the second quarter and after Goben’s PAT, Liberty-Eylau was up 28-0.
The Bears made two or more first downs each drive in the first half but just couldn’t cash in. However, a fake punt fooled the Leopards and three plays later Saul Williams scored from 19 yards out. Luis Suarez kicked the extra point to cut the lead to 28-7.
The Bears executed a perfect onside kick and drove inside the Leopard 20-yard line with 45 seconds left in the half. Williams said hello to the end zone again, this time from 18 yards out. The Bears pulled within 28-13.
The Leopards were not done. A long kickoff return put L-E in business deep in Brownsboro territory. With 12 seconds on the clock, Dickerson scored his third touchdown. Goben’s kick made the halftime score 35-13 in favor of Liberty-Eylau.
In the second half, the Bears drove 75 yards and used over six minutes to score first. Kenneth Woods bulled over from the 5. A trick pass from Jonathan Surlet to guard Wesley Walker got the Bears two more points and made the score 35-21.
Phillips came back for the Leopards and dashed in from the 9. Goben’s kick made it 42-21.
Williams started off the fourth quarter with a 10-yard jaunt for six points. Surlet hit Kevon Thompson for the two points, which made the score 42-29.
Phillips came back passing for L-E and threw a 10-yard TD to Isaiah Cross. Goben’s kick made it 49-29 with 8:50 left in the fourth quarter.
Williams darted for his fourth touchdown from 44 yards out. The Bears ended the game inside the L-E 20.
Statistical leaders for the Bears were Williams with 233 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Surlet threw for over 160 yards.
For the Leopards, Phillips was a giant. He threw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored two touchdowns.