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Kaufman Shuts Down Liberty-Eylau to Eliminate the Leopards, 28-14

Liberty-Eylau’s Davion Hall (3) is pulled down by Kaufman’s Michael Prox (7) during Kaufman’s 28-14 first-round playoff win Friday at Gilmer’s Buckeye Stadium. (Jeff Stapleton,

GILMER — Liberty-Eylau scored twice in the game’s first 10 minutes, but Kaufman blanked the Leopards for the remainder of a 28-14 Lion victory in Friday’s Class 3A Division I Region II bi-district playoff at Buckeye Stadium.

Kaufman (8-3) plays Kilgore (10-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Tyler at TMF Rose Stadium in a 3A D-I Region II area playoff. Liberty-Eylau finishes the 2013 season with a 6-5 record.

Kaufman QB Clay Rhodes (2) is brought down by Liberty-Eylau’s Douglas Goodnight (61) during Kaufman’s first-round playoff win Friday in Gilmer. (Jeff Stapleton,

Liberty-Eylau outgained Kaufman 306-260, but the Lions, who did not commit a turnover, claimed three takeaways.

Liberty-Eylau led 14-7 early in the second, but Kaufman took over from there. Josh Ramirez hit Jackson Fritz for a six-yard touchdown pass to cut L-E’s lead to one point less than two minutes into the second. Desmond Williams gave Kaufman the lead permanently with his 31-yard interception return for a touchdown a minute and a half before intermission. A two-point conversion followed for a 21-14 advantage.

Quarterback Clay Rhodes’ 36-yard touchdown run four minutes into the fourth quarter iced the game for the Lions. Rhodes had 49 yards on 10 carries. Michael Prox’ 51 yards on seven carries led Kaufman, which outrushed Liberty-Eylau 170-140.

Rhodes completed 8 of 10 passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns, both to Fritz.

Kaufman’s Desmond Williams (5) is brought down by a host of Liberty-Eylau defenders Friday in Gilmer. (Jeff Stapleton,

Liberty-Eylau’s Donelle Hook gained a game-high 106 yards on 12 carries, while quarterback Javon Rigsby completed 13 of 28 passes for 162 yards, two touchdowns, and the aforementioned interception.

Baylor-bound senior standout Davion Hall concluded his L-E career with three catches for 75 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown from Rigsby that gave the Leopards a momentary 14-7 lead 10 minutes into the game. Keith Wynkoop caught four passes for 22 yards and a touchdown — a four-yarder from Hall halfway through the first quarter for a 7-0 edge.

Rhodes’ first touchdown throw to Fritz, which covered seven yards, tied the game 7-7 four minutes later.

— Stats courtesy the Texarkana Gazette

Liberty-Eylau’s Donelle Hoof (8) runs the ball late in the first half of the Leopards’ first-round playoff loss to Kaufman on Friday in Gilmer. (Jeff Stapleton,

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