So this is why Kansas State is so interested. Jade Cathey, the 6'5" second year football player who shattered Liberal's receiving records in 2009 and verbally comitted to K-State, put together an impressive opener Friday night in front of a big opening night crowd at Redskin Field. Cathey caught three touchdowns, returned a punt for a score, and recovered a fumble in Liberal 40-8 win over Ulysses. Cathey kept it all in perspective after the game. "Coach told us each game is a step on the ladder. We came out here and got the win. We're going to come out here next week and practice hard and get ready for Guymon."
Quarterback Slader McVey also put together an impressive opening night with three touchdowns passes and a rushing touchdown. "This win gives us a ton of confidence going into the rest of the season," McVey said. "I've been preaching to the guys the last few weeks of practice that it's all about that first victory. It's all about getting confidence up. I remember coming up my freshman year and losing to Ulysses (21-20) and how sad those seniors were and I thought we're not going to do that. We're going to put a hurtn' on them. We're going to win."
That's just was the Redskins did winning their opener for the first time since a Gary Cornelsen coached team won at Dumas 16-2 in 2003. Ulysses had won five in a row (11-7 in 1990, 34-21 in 2004, 20-14 in 2005, 40-12 in 2006, and 21-20 in 2007) in the series. It was their first win over the Tigers since 1970. Second year Liberal head coach Wade Standley says it was a meaningful. "It's a huge win for these young men. I could not be prouder of them the way they came out and prepared and played tonight. We'll build off this and we'll get better each week."
Ulysses had to punt after their first series when Cathey fielded the big hop a mid field and took it down the left sideline for a score. Jesse Quintero kicked a career high 39 yard field goal at the 3:30 mark to make it 10-0. After Pedro Marquez recovered a Ulysses fumble, McVey found Cathey for a 34 yard touchdown with 35 seconds remaining in the first quarter and it was 17-0 Redskins at the end of one. McVey found Cathey with a feathery soft pass over the middle into the south endzone with 51 second remaining in the first half to make it 24-0 at halftime.
Ulysses was driving to begin the second half when Cathey recovered a Ulysses fumble leading to a McVey 48 yard bomb to Cathey to make it 31-0. Cesar Ontiveros added an interception for the third Ulysses turnover. After Brian Morris kept a punt out of the endzone diving to save it at the one setting up a safety after Michael Sena made the tackle to make it 33-0 with 10:17 to play in the game. McVey's 11 yard run at the 8:34 mark made it 40-0. Ulysses would score a touchdown against Liberal's back ups.
Liberal goes to Guymon next Friday for a 7:30 game and Ulysses travels to Goodland.