Warren County 0
While pleased with becoming the all-time leading single-season rusher in Liberty High history Friday night, Eagles senior Justin Carrington was more concerned with whose record he broke and the 31-0 win his team pulled out over Warren County.
Carrington had 161 yards on 18 carries in the lightning-shortened game, leaving him with 1,326 for the season, the most in the 11-year-old school's history. Mike Hull, a 2003 graduate, rushed for 1,320 in 2001.
"I have the most respect for Mike. He's an amazing athlete," Carrington said. "He's someone who taught me a lot."
Another big night for Carrington and a punishing performance by the defense helped Liberty (8-0, 5-0) defeat Warren County (5-3, 3-2). With two games left, No. 9 Liberty is all but guaranteed the AA Northwestern District title and a spot in the Region II playoffs.
The game was played in steady rain before being called due to lightning with 10 minutes 54 seconds left in the fourth quarter. But by that time, the game was no longer in doubt.
The Eagles limited Warren County junior H.B. Banjoman, the area's seventh-leading rusher before the game, to 93 yards on 28 carries. Banjoman was tackled for a loss 10 times in the game, including four times on his first seven carries.
Banjoman, who usually takes a direct snap in the Wildcats' single-wing offense, rushed for 1,404 yards in the Wildcats' first seven games.
Liberty has allowed only one running back to gain more than 100 yards in a game this season. After the first drive of the game, Warren County took only one snap inside Liberty territory.
"Their kids did a great job up front," Warren County Coach Heath Gilbert said. "They were able to get penetration and make plays."
Liberty's offense was slow to get going, as its first two drives sputtered. But Carrington broke the game open in the second quarter, bursting through a hole for a 33-yard touchdown run. After a two-point conversion, the Eagles led 8-0.
Liberty continued the momentum, scoring on its next drive when senior quarterback Nick Monaco's long pass was caught for a 44-yard touchdown by senior Dru Hicks. Monaco ran in the two-point conversion for a 16-0 lead at the half.
Monaco also had a 16-yard pass to Steven Lewis just before the end of the game and ended 5 for 7 for 105 yards.
Carrington sealed the win in the third quarter when he took a fourth-down run up the middle for a 25-yard touchdown.
Carrington is now 82 yards shy of the Fauquier County rushing record of 1,408, set in 1989 by Fauquier's Kevin Cash.
"I'm not really aiming for anything," Carrington said. "Whatever I can contribute to the team, I'll take it. If I end up with the county record, that's cool."