LIBERTY HILL (KXAN) — If you go watch a Liberty Hill high school football practice, the only time you’ll see them throwing a football is during warm ups. The Panthers are into the 4A Division I semifinals against Carthage based on a bruising and deceiving run game.
Liberty Hill has long run that slot t offense that is as frustrating to defend as it is to try and follow who has the ball.
“Every play is 100 percent from the first quarter to the last play of the fourth quarter. “The misdirection is crazy,” said running back Kyle Harrison who leads the team with more than 2600 yards rushing.
“We’ve been doing the same thing since 2001 here,” said head coach Jeff Walker. “Putting great kids into a good system, good things will happen.”
They’ll need great things to happen Friday night in Cypress at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium when they will take on 14-0 and top ranked Carthage. “They’ve won 40 straight football games, so it’s going to be a big challenge for us,” said Walker. “Our last state championship was 2007, they’ve won six since then.”
Walker replaced long time head coach Jerry Vance in 2017 who retired after 16 seasons and those two state titles. It was a smooth transition, Walker was the offensive coordinator from 2001-07.
Ironically, it was one of two passes thrown in their 35-17 third round win over La Vernia that proved key when quarterback Jacob Cearley hit Harrison for a 61 yard touchdown in their 21 point fourth quarter. That pass was just their 14th completion of the season in 32 attempts.
“We take pride in knowing we have a ground and pound smash mouth kind of football and it just grows on you up here in Liberty Hill,” said senior linebacker Brendan Ketchern.