The Montpelier Locomotives travelled to Liberty Center on Friday, September 6 to face off against the Tigers. Though the history between the two teams includes 88 games and the overall record is pretty even (44-40-4 in favor of Liberty Center) it’s been pretty one-sided of late. And, sadly for Montpelier, this game proved to be no exception.
Things were bad from the start. The visiting Locos would start with the ball since Liberty Center won the toss and deferred, however, the opening kickoff was fumbled and the home team Tigers recovered. LC scored in just three plays making it a quick 7-0.
The first drive after the kickoff debacle, the Locos showed some real life. They moved the ball quickly and efficiently against the Tigers and soon found themselves on the home team’s side of the field facing a third down with only two to go. Before the snap, the Liberty Center nose tackle clearly jumped and even touched Montpelier’s center right on the helmet to brace himself. Nothing was called, the play went off, and Montpelier found themselves punting.
Still, the Locos fought hard. On Liberty Center’s next possession, with the Tigers pushing deep into Montpelier territory, the defense made a tough stand just outside their own red zone. They stopped the Tigers on a huge fourth down with only two yards to go. This gave the Montpelier offense the ball and swung some momentum in their favor.
This push, however, was not enough. The drive which started with the big turnover on downs caused by the fourth down stand was short lived – three and out. From this point forward, Liberty Center dominated the game on both sides of the ball.
The Tigers quickly put more points on the board with a 39 yard touchdown after a decent punt return. The home team gained further momentum by recovering a fumble on the first play of Montpelier’s next drive. Liberty Center was quickly in the end zone again having scored, now, two touchdowns in the previous two minutes.
The Locomotive luck didn’t improve as time ticked off the scoreboard. The very next Montpelier possession, not very far into it, Keegan Hitzeman hurled a pass deep that wound up in the hands of Liberty Center’s Anthony Righi (defensive back as well as Liberty Center’s leading rusher for the game with nearly 200 yards) this was returned for a touchdown in dynamic fashion with more than one or two or three broken tackles to put the Tigers in the end zone yet again.
Montpelier went into halftime down 27-0. By the end of the game, it was 54-0. The Locos gave it their all, but the Tigers just seemed too big and too fast this year, but there’s a lot of senior talent that will be shedding their stripes come next year so the Locos will, as always, have next year to look forward to in terms of revenge for a solid defeat this year.