There's more to No. 10 Liberty's dominance in the AA Northwestern District this season than the flashy running of Indiana-bound senior tailback Justin Carrington (1,165 yards, 16 touchdowns). At the core of the Eagles' success is a defensive unit that has conceded only 33 points in seven games, which include three shutouts.
Liberty (7-0, 4-0) is holding opponents to an average of just 74 yards rushing and 108.
"I think we're actually giving up more yardage this year than we did last year," said Coach Tommy Buzzo, whose team yielded 35 points through seven games last season and finished 11-1 with a loss to Stone Bridge in the AA Region II Division 4 final. "But what's most important is we're still not relinquishing points.
"We're an attacking defense and we're getting plenty of penetration. Now, we give up some plays on occasion playing that way, too. But so far we've ended up making up for them."
That's because 14 different players have combined to register 50 tackles for loss for Liberty, led by senior defensive tackle Brad Walker with eight. Eight Eagles have additionally contributed on a combined 20 sacks, including a team-high eight sacks for minus-51 yards by junior defensive end Aaron Hull.
-- Angela Watts