Ke’Mon Freeman + Liberty-Eylau Advance to Quarterfinals With 38-22 Defeat of Kaufman
ROYSE CITY -- The windy and rainy conditions Friday night prevented Liberty-Eylau from displaying its full offensive attack. The running game was good enough.
Leopards senior quarterback Ke'Mon Freeman attempted only one pass on the night -- an incompletion -- but rushed for 213 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-22 win over Kaufman in a Class 4A Division I Region II semifinal at Royse City ISD Stadium.
Liberty-Eylau (12-1) advanced to the state quarterfinals for the second consecutive season, and will meet Argyle (12-1) in a rematch from last year. Kickoff is slated for 9 p.m. next Friday from Arlington's AT&T Stadium.
Argyle defeated Liberty-Eylau, 45-42, in the 2014 4A Division I quarterfinals.
Freeman carried the ball 26 times against Kaufman (11-2), and scored on runs of 3, 12, 10, and 16 yards. He increased his season rushing total to 1,725 yards and 26 touchdowns to go along with his 3,098 yards and 26 touchdowns passing.
Liberty-Eylau senior running back Lamont Byrd added 105 yards and two touchdowns on 23 attempts.
The Leopards scored on their first two possessions, and netted the game's first 20 points, while the Liberty-Eylau defense put the clamps of Kaufman's rushing attack, holding the Lions to just 59 first-half yards.
Kaufman ended the night with 177 rushing yards, 73 of which came on senior Dru Prox's 73-yard touchdown with 2:05 remaining in the fourth quarter. Prox led Kaufman with 121 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.
After Liberty-Eylau forced a Kaufman three-and-out on the game's opening possession, the Leopards took over at the Lions' 32 after a punt into a stiff north wind traveled just 7 yards.
On first-and-goal from the 3, Freeman kept on the zone-read option for the game's first score. The extra point, however, was unsuccessful, leaving the Leopards ahead, 6-0, with 8:28 showing on the first-quarter clock.
Kaufman traveled into Liberty-Eylau territory on the ensuing drive, but was stopped on fourth down at the Leopards' 31.
L-E responded with an eight-play, 69-yard march that ended with Freeman's 12-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter. The try for two points was no good, but the Leopards increased their lead to 12-0.
After the teams exchanged punts, Kaufman's Austin Gomez was intercepted by Leopards linebacker Arymis Johnson at the Lions' 16.
Byrd then ran for 15 yards on first down, and scored on the next play. Freeman ran in the two-point conversion to give Liberty-Eylau a 20-0 lead with 6:18 remaining in the first half.
Kaufman got its only break of the opening half when Connor Petsch pounced on a Liberty-Eylau muffed punt at the Leopards' 16-yard line. Six plays later, Prox found paydirt from a yard away, and then ran in the two-point conversion to trim L-E's lead to 20-8 with 1:43 until halftime.
The Lions then tried an onside kick, which went out of bounds at the Leopards' 45. An 18-yard run by Kameron Levingston and a 22-yard scramble by Freeman set up a second-and-goal play at the 10.
Freeman dropped back to pass, but instead, found daylight and weaved his way into the end zone for a Leopards touchdown with 16 seconds to play in the half. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, but Liberty-Eylau carried a 26-8 lead into the break.
Liberty-Eylau went 75 yards in 10 plays on its opening drive of the third quarter, and increased its lead to 32-8 on Freeman's fourth touchdown of the night -- a 16-yard run.
Izaiha Starling returned the ensuing kickoff 29 yards to allow Kaufman to begin at its 47-yard line. The Lions advanced the ball to L-E 26, when on fourth-and-6, Gomez found a wide-open Kelton Kersh for a touchdown, which cut the Leopards' lead to 32-14 with 4:01 to play in the third.
Kaufman was stopped a yard short on fourth-and-2 at its own 31 to end the Lions' first drive of the fourth quarter, and L-E effectively put the game out of reach with Byrd's 33-yard touchdown on second down, which increased the lead to 38-14.
Liberty-Eylau 38, Kaufman 22
Class 4A Division I Region II Semifinal
At Royse City ISD Stadium
Liberty-Eylau 6 20 6 6 -- 38
Kaufman 0 8 6 8 -- 22
LE--Ke'Mon Freeman 3 run (run failed), 8:28.
LE--Freeman 12 run (run failed), 11:55.
LE--Lamont Byrd 1 run (Freeman run), 6:18.
KAU--Dru Prox 1 run (Prox run), 1:43.
LE--Freeman 10 run (pass failed), :16.
LE--Freeman 16 run (run failed), 7:41.
KAU--Kelton Kersh 26 pass from Austin Gomez (pass failed), 4:01.
LE--Byrd 33 run (run failed), 9:11.
KAU--Prox 73 run (Desmond Williams run), 2:05.
First Downs 19 9
Total Yards 362 203
Rushes-Yards 50-362 43-177
Passing Yards 0 26
Comp.-Att.-Int. 0-1-0 1-5-1
Punts-Avg. 1-35.0 3-28.7
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-0
Penalties-Yards 6-60 2-20
RUSHING--Liberty-Eylau, Ke'Mon Freeman 26-213, Lamont Byrd 23-105, Kameron Levingston 7-35, Thurman Morbley 1-6, Malcolm Payne 1-3. Kaufman, Dru Prox 14-121, Desmond Williams 20-31, Dre Prox 7-27, Jacob Nalls 1-0, Austin Gomez 1-(-2).
PASSING--Liberty-Eylau, Freeman 0-1-0--0. Kaufman, Gomez 1-5-1--26.
RECEIVING--Kaufman, Kelton Kersh 1-26.