By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
With the lights glowing on the pristine turf and the stands packed on both sides of the field, the revamped Redskin Field was opened on a solemn evening that remembered the victims of 9/11. It ended with a dominating 28-0 Redskin victory.
Liberal racked up 322 yards of offense against the Guymon Tigers while only allowed 141 in the win.
It was a marked improvement over Week 1 for the Redskins, something head coach Wade Standley is expecting to see throughout the season.
“”It was a good win,” he said. “This is what we talked about. We want to improve and get better each week. Next week, we need to be ready for Hays.”
Liberal relied more on the running game against the Tigers, but that didn’t prevent Slader McVey from completing eight passes on 13 attempts for 118 yards and a touchdown.
“We take the defense will give us,” Standley said.
For McVey, getting the win on the new field, and throwing a touchdown pass, was a highlight evening.
“This is unreal,” he said. “Seeing the stands filled like that, it was a good feeling. When Jade (Cathey) caught the ball in the end zone, and the crowd getting loud like that, it was unreal.”
McVey tried to employ the football mantra of being the quarterback that does not hurt the team.
“I wanted to get positive yards,” he said. “If a can’t run, then I’ll throw the ball. Whatever it takes to get first downs.”
The only thing stopping the Redskin offense Friday night was the Redskin offense.
Liberal lost four fumbles during the game, or the score might have been worse.
One of those came in the final minute of the first half on the Tiger
1 yard line.
When Liberal held on to the ball, they tended to move it.
After a fumble ended Liberal’s first drive, the Redskins took the ball at the Guymon 49 yard line with six minutes to play in the first quarter.
Martin Lavondrick started the drive with a25-yard run, and after a McVey scramble for a touchdown was called back due to an illegal block, McVey put the ball in the air in a jump ball scenario for Cathey.
The basketball standout went up high and came down with the ball on the red carpet for the field’s first Redskin touchdown.
After another Redskin fumble and two Guymon fumbles, Liberal had the ball at the Tiger 39 yard line.
On third-and-2 and the Tiger 20 yard line, it appeared that McVey and Lavondrick crossed wires and ran into each other in the backfield.
McVey kept the ball and headed to the left side. He turned the corner and raced to the pylon to give the Redskins a 14-0 lead.
Liberal had another chance late in the half with a first and goal at the Tiger 1 yard line, but a bad exchange between center and quarterback left the pigskin on the turf. Guymon recovered the ball and went to the air in the waning seconds of the half.
The Tigers advanced to the Liberal 10 before throwing an interception to Cesar Ontiveros.
Liberal opened the second half with an impressive 15-play drive that covered 96 yards for a touchdown. McVey scampered in from five yards out to cap the drive and give the Redskins a 21-0 lead.
The Redskin defense, after giving up four big plays to Newton a week earlier, had the clamps on the Tigers.
The Angry Red never allowed Guymon the chance to cross the 50 yard line in the second half.
Liberal put together a nine play drive in the fourth quarter to increase the lead to 28-0 when Charles Turner plunged into the end zone from two yards out.
Turner had his best night as a Redskin, rushing for 67 yards on 14 carries for an average of 4.78.
“I was trying to do what I needed to do,” Turner said. “The O-line really helped me out a lot. This week of practiced helped me out a lot. I was more familiar with the plays.”
Liberal ran more plays form under the center than they did in Newton.
That change helped Turner.
“It was easier for me to read the hole,” Turner said.
The win sets up a key Western Athletic Conference MAtch-up Friday against Hays.
Former Liberal Redskin Ryan Cornelsen is now the coach of the Hays Indians, and Hays is off to a 2-0 start after knocking off Ulysses
“We need to practice and work hard next week,” Turner said.
Liberal (1-1) and Hays (2-0) will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday.