Whether it’s a mid-season game or a preseason scrimmage, it’s hard for a team to have four turnovers and win. The Liberty-Eylau Leopards took advantage of four Wildcats’ turnovers to take a 28-21 scrimmage win at Gerald Prim Stadium Thursday (August 23) evening.
The Leopards got off to a good start going 75 yards on their opening drive for a score using 6 minutes and 33 seconds. Liberty-Eylau used a 9 yard TD run to take the lead. Their extra point went wide but they were up, 6-0 at 3:27 of the first quarter. The Wildcats got off to a slow start offensively as the Leopards got a pass interception, the first of the Wildcats turnovers. L-E drove down to the Wildcats 5 yard line but a holding penalty pushed them back. The Wildcats defense stiffened and a 30 yard field goal attempt by the Leopards was no good.
Early in the second quarter, the Wildcats cranked up their running game. Colton Allen gashed the Leopards for several good gains. The only sophomore on the Wildcats varsity, Caden Davis, electrified the crowd with a 36 yard touchdown run to tie the scrimmage at 6-6. Kicker Osiel Lopez’ extra point was good and the Wildcats led 7-6 with 8:50 left in the second quarter. L-E came right back with a 72-yard scoring drive of their own. The Leopards made good use of their passing game. They scored on a 1 yard run. After a successful extra point kick, Liberty-Eylau led 13-7 with 5:28 left before halftime. After a Wildcat punt, the Leopards threatened to get more but safety Austin Dodd picked off an L-E pass. It was Liberty-Eylau leading the Wildcats, 13-7 at the half.
The third quarter opened badly for the Wildcats. They fumbled the football for their second turnover of the night. Fortunately the Wildcats’ defense forced the Leopards to punt after the turnover. Then back up quarterback Noe Ponce came in an led the Wildcats to a score. He completed a couple of passes to Dodd and one to Aaron Douglas. From the five yard line of L-E, Wildcats back Aidan Walker took the ball into the end zone. Lopez successful kick made it Sulphur Springs 14 and Liberty-Eylau 13 with 3:52 left in the third quarter. On their next drive, the Leopards fumbled on an option play in their own territory and the Wildcats Andy Eddins recovered. Then the Wildcats took it into the end zone. Allen got the score on an 8 yard run. Lopez good extra point kick made it, Sulphur Springs 21 and L-E 13 with 2:11 left in the third quarter.
The Wildcats took the lead into the fourth quarter. Again that quarter started poorly for the home team. First came a bad snap and then a fumble, the Wildcats third miscue. The Leopards were aided by a big defensive penalty on their drive after the fumble recovery. They scored on a four yard run and then tied the game with a successful pass for a two point conversion. The game was tied , 21-21 with 6:45 left in the fourth quarter. On their next drive, the Wildcats were on the move when they suffered another fumble, this one after a pass reception. It was the Wildcats fourth turnover. L-E recovered on their own 22 yard line. A few plays later, a Leopard back burst into the clear and went 63 yards for the go ahead TD. With an extra point kick, Liberty-Eylau led 28-21 with just 2:47 left in the fourth quarter. On the subsequent Wildcats’ drive, another bad snap resulting in a big loss of yardage greatly hampered any hopes of a tying TD. The Wildcats were forced to punt and L-E then ran out the clock. The Leopards took a 28-21 scrimmage win.
The Wildcats open the regular season on Friday night, August 31 against Frisco Wakeland at Frisco Memorial Stadium.