After building a 21-3 lead at halftime, the wheels fell off in the second half as Ulysses outscored Liberal 40-6 in the second half in a 43-27 loss to the Ulysses Tigers in front of a big opening night crowd Friday night at Redskin Field.
Ulysses amassed 546 yards with 335 coming in the second half. Liberal had 287 yards with 183 coming through the air. Britton Abbott passed for 183 yards and rushed for 54 yards.
The Tigers took the opening drive from their own 30 to the Redskin 15 before their drive stalled and their left footed kicker Jorge Mendez kicked a 27 yard field goal to make it 3-0.
Britton Abbott then heated up with a 20 yard TD pass to Trenton Hammond with 4:35 to play in the first half then Abbott hooked up with Hammond again for a 58 yard TD with 1:28 to play in the quarter to lead 14-3 after the Cody Arellano extra points.
Christian Torres took an option pitch from Abbott and ran 21 yards into the north endzone for a third score to make it 21-3 after the PAT. Torres added an interception on defense in the second half and the Redskin defense also held Ulysses on fourth down twice in the first half and led 21-3 in the halftime lockeroom.
Ulysses took the first drive of the second half into the paint when senior quarterback Alec Meierhoff sneaked it in from two yards out but UHS missed the PAT and it was 21-9 with 8:28 to play in the third. Trenton Hammond's apparent kick return for a touchdown was called back due to a penalty. Liberal then went three and out on offense and the Tigers got it back and Meierhoff lofted a pretty 31 yard TD pass to Tate Annis to make it 21-15 after the two point conversion failed. Then Liberal fumbled on the next possession and Nathan Medina recovered. A Romero two yard touchdown capped the drive with 11:03 to play in the game and made it 22-21 Ulysses after the point after.
The Redskins didn't offer much resistence in the fourth quarter being outscored 28-6 in the quarter. Armando Sandoval, who rushed for 98 yards, ran it in from 35 yards out. Freshman Ian Rudzik, who went for 140 yards, ran it in from 43 yards out. Liberal committed their second turnover of the night which Ulysses would convert to points with a Romero TD with 1:57 to play. So one year after a 42-20 loss to Ulysses, it was 43-21. Abbott found Nolan Larkin for a TD with 29 second to play and the final was 43-27.
Ulysses has won seven of the past eight against the Redskins and two straight. The Tigers host Great Bend Friday.
Liberal plays at 0-1 Guymon Friday night at 7:30 at Guymon's McKinnon Field and on Talkradio 1270 and kscbnews.net. Redskin Pre-game begins at 6:30.