After getting tripped up a few weeks ago, the Salina Liberty will enter the postseason with back-to-back impressive victories.
Following a 37-13 win over Sioux City on June 19, the Liberty dominated a motivated Wichita Force team on their own turf. Salina closed the regular season with an impressive 54-33 victory, improving to 10-1. Wichita was hoping for a win to secure a playoff spot, but the Force end their season with a 5-5 record.
Salina was without three starters – two on defense and one on offense. However, the Liberty saw the return of quarterback Tyrie Adams.
Wichita put the first points on the board, but Adams and the Liberty responded with a 25-yard touchdown connection between Adams and receiver Jason Shelley. Later in the half, Adams hit Shelley again for a score, this time from four yards out to make it 20-13 with 6:45 to go in the half. Adams, who played for the first time since suffering an injury on May 15, handed the keys over to Mitch Kidd.
Kicker Jimmy Allen nailed a 28-yard field goal as time expired to put the Liberty up 30-19 at intermission. Defensive starters Dontra Matthews and Jake Lattimer rested because the Liberty wrapped up the No. 1 seed. Still, the defense didn’t skip a beat, recovering two fumbles, intercepting two passes, and picking up two sacks.
Kendrick Harper had a fumble recovery and a pick. Isiah Barfield logged the other interception. Rusty Becker and Shaq Bradford each recorded a sack.
In his return, Adams was 8-of-12 passing for 80 yards and three touchdowns, all to Shelley. Shelley had five catches for 61 yards and four scores. Kidd was 6-for-9 passing for 74 yards and three touchdowns. Tailback Tracy Brooks accumulated 62 rushing yards and a score.
The Liberty will host fourth-seeded Dodge City on July 10 at the Tony’s Pizza Events Center. Salina took down the Law 62-34 and 61-54 in the two showdowns in the regular season. Kickoff is at 6:30 pm.
If the Liberty win, they will host the winner of No. 2 Omaha and No. 3 Sioux City on July 17.