4TH & GOAL, Earl Watt
From Week 1 to Week 2, the improvement was obvious, even if Emporia was not the same type of challenge Holcomb provided.
The offense was able to move the ball almost at will, and the brutal running game of Brooks Kappelmann coupled with the in-sync combo of Kappelmann to Zayden Martinez was fun for all to see.
The biggest addition to the offense was being able to have others carry the ball successfully, and that happened with Xavier Porras and Ivan Moreno.
Defensively, the Redskins still have some challenges.
Emporia only had two three-and-out possessions all game. Every other drive had at least one first down and several had more than 10 plays.
The Spartans drove the ball at or near the Redskins 20 yard line on three separate occasions that did not end with a single point even though the drives were sustained prior to running out of downs.
The defense didn’t allow the huge, gashing play, but the methodical drives continued with multiple third down conversions.
The Redskins will have to find a way to end drives sooner once Western Athletic Conference action begins.
Had Emporia scored on those three drives and made the missed field goal, the score could have been 47-38.
It’s still a Liberal win, but it’s much closer.
Another bright spot was the leg of Marco Alonso. His kickoffs either landed in the end zone for touchbacks or inside the 5 yard line. And he made a 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, which could be a huge asset as the season progresses.
Liberal definitely took some steps forward Friday night against Emporia, but the real test lies ahead with the WAC schedule, and with one more week until Dodge City, the Redskins need to take another big stride Thursday in Topeka.