Last week, Tyrie Adams saw limited action in the Salina Liberty’s preseason game against Arlington. The dual-threat quarterback banged up his shoulder, forcing the coaching staff to keep him on the shelf.
Adams returned in full force in Salina’s CIF opener.
Adams recorded four touchdowns, leading the Salina Liberty to a 52-27 victory over their league rival Wichita Force Friday night inside the Tony’s Pizza Events Center. Salina improved to 2-0, Wichita opens the season at 0-1.
Wichita was ready for Salina early. Quarterback Cory Murphy kicked off the scoring with a 28-yard touchdown pass to receiver Rodnell Cruell. A few plays later, Salina tailback Dominic Carson found the end zone on a five-yard score, pulling the Liberty within one, 7-6, with 3:18 to play in the first.
Wichita returned fire with another score via the air, this time Murphy hooking up with Jack Tomlinson on a 14-yard connection. Carson nearly returned the ensuing kickoff for six, but instead set up Adams for a seven-yard scamper with no time left in the first, tied up at 13-13.
Facing a fourth and goal, Murphy calmly floated a pass to Tavarius Battiste, who ran past the goal line to put the Force back on top. Salina took control of the game from there.
Adams wowed the crowd, nearly falling down for a sack. Instead, he regained his balance after the pressure from Wichita and dealt a pass out to running back Nelson Brown. The bruiser weaved through traffic and ended up in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown, knotting up the score at 19-19.
Salina’s defense made a huge fourth and goal stop at the Salina four. The Liberty took over with 2:10 remaining in the half. Quarterback Mitch Kidd orchestrated an 8-play, 45-yard drive before the half came to a close. Kidd found receiver Deceon Schumann on a four-yard touchdown, putting the Liberty on top for good at 26-19 at the half.
The Liberty wasted no time drawing first blood in the second half. Halfback Tracy Brooks scampered to the goal line for a five-yard score with 11:57 to play in the third. Salina’s defense blanked Wichita in the third. Kendrick Harper intercepted a pass and then forced Wichita to miss a field goal.
Salina expanded the margin to 19 with 1:27 to go in the third following a 23-yard touchdown pass from Adams to wideout Ed Smith. Wichita trimmed the deficit to 11 after a 17-yard pass to Jordan Payne for a score.
However, Salina had the answer. Carson returned the kickoff to the Wichita one, setting up another rushing touchdown for Brooks. Following a Dontra Matthews pick, Adams finished the contest with a seven-yard throw to Brown.
Adams was 9-of-11 passing for 122 yards and four total touchdowns. Brooks ran for 50 yards and a pair of scores. Brown had three catches for 45 yards and two scores.
Murphy finished with 173 total yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Defensively, Matthews paced the Liberty with seven tackles, two sacks and one interception. Naiquan Thomas had eight stops for Salina.
Up next for Salina: home game Saturday, April 10 vs Omaha. Kickoff at 6:35 pm.