Bolivar High School football jumped off to a commanding 28-0 lead against Mountain View-Liberty by the end of the first half Friday, Sept. 6. Bolivar did its best to not look back as the now 2-0 Liberators won 38-14.
Bolivar attacked early, stymieing Liberty quarterback Jaris Acklin, who led the Eagles to Bolivar’s 29-yard line before stalling out on a fourth down.
“It was a great test for our young secondary, just knowing they could have success against a quality quarterback,” Bolivar coach Glen Johnson said, referring to his team’s pass defense.
The Liberator defensive unit remained a foil for Acklin throughout the game, blocking a handful of passes and rushing the senior quarterback into throwing numerous incompletions. Acklin, who passed for 2,626 yards and 30 touchdowns last year, was held to just two scores.
Liberator quarterback Hayden Burks drove Bolivar down the field, tossing passes to Hunter Berry and Blade Hancock and letting running back Eathen Dinwiddie’s legs do the work before Burks darted in himself for a 3-yard touchdown run to get the Liberators on the board.
Bolivar had a 7-0 lead with 7:52 left in the first quarter.
On an ensuing defensive snap, the Liberators’ Blake Campbell knocked down a pass from Acklin to force a fourth down.
The teams traded punts before Burks threw long, finding Hancock in the open field. Hancock ran the rest of the way for Bolivar’s second touchdown, putting the Liberators up 14-0 with 2:37 left in the first quarter.
Several first-down passes from Acklin put the Eagles in scoring range, but Liberty was unable to keep its momentum and gave the ball back.
On a later possession, Dinwiddie again got the carry, breaking clear for the touchdown with 9:35 left in the second quarter to put Bolivar up 21-0.
Bo Banner got Bolivar’s last score of the first half, nabbing a pass from Burks to give the team a four-score lead with 6:25 left.
On Bolivar’s first drive of the second half, Liberty grabbed an interception. Acklin drove the team to Bolivar’s 23-yard line, throwing deep into the end zone on the first down.
Dylan Hall was able to knock away the pass, with the Liberators’ line and Hancock working to stop the Eagles’ momentum on subsequent snaps. Dreven Sharp helped force the Eagles to give the ball up on downs.
A series of Dinwiddie carries turned the momentum instantly. Over just a handful of plays, the running back beat and bruised his way more than 70 yards, with Hall getting the ball into the end zone to put Bolivar up 35-0.
“We were preparing for a shootout,” Johnson said. “It was encouraging to see our offense show up.”
Through the fourth quarter, the Liberators leaned on Banner and Hall, with the latter pushing through on several carries to get Bolivar near the 20-yard line before a series of short runs saw the Liberators line up for a field goal. Kicker Alex Maldonado split the uprights to give the Liberators a 38-0 lead.
Liberty’s first score came with 5:35 left in the game as Acklin tossed a deep pass to a receiver, who ran it in for the touchdown. Acklin again threw long, finding an open man with 2:53 left for his second score.
Bolivar next faces Hannibal at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, in Bolivar.