Alex Maldonado’s kick sailed through the air, crossing more than 40 yards to pass just over the bottom bar of the uprights. 

The senior’s lengthy first-quarter field goal attempt was good, striking a tone early as the Liberators put on a nearly perfect performance, besting Fort Scott 52-0 Friday, Oct. 18, at Southwest Baptist University’s Plaster Stadium.

Bolivar, now 8-0, owned a 38-0 lead at halftime behind a constant scoring assault from seniors Eathen Dinwiddie and Blade Hancock, who accounted for a combined 42 points. 

It started with Dinwiddie, who broke loose for a touchdown rush with 10:45 left in the first quarter. 

Hancock and Bo Banner reeled in passes from senior quarterback Hayden Burks to get the Liberators down the field. Burks then hit Hancock with a long pass. The senior receiver made good on it, dashing into the end zone to put Bolivar up 14-0.  

Just as Fort Scott’s next drive started its momentum, Bolivar’s Dylan Hall picked up an interception. 

Maldonado’s kick and another touchdown from Hancock widened the team’s advantage to 24-0.

The Liberators forced Fort Scott to punt on its next drive, then continued their defensive dominance, with Zeke Partin blocking a punt. Bolivar started its next series in the second quarter in Fort Scott territory, with Burks wasting no time finding Hancock for a touchdown pass and Dinwiddie darting in for another score.

The Liberators threatened to score again before the end of the first half, with Burks sending a pass to Cooper Hitchcock to give Bolivar a first down at the goal line, but foul trouble kept the team out of the end zone. 

Hitchcock picked up an interception before time expired. 

Bolivar continued its scoring frenzy in the third quarter, with Dinwiddie rumbling into the end zone with 10:20 left. Bolivar’s Darrin Fugitt followed about five minutes later to put the team up 52-0. The score held through the end of the game as the Liberator defense clamped down on Fort Scott. 

Bolivar closes its regular season at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, facing Cape Central High School in Cape Girardeau. 

See the Wednesday, Oct. 23, issue of the BH-FP for more photos and a preview of the game.

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