Good Luck
Redskins!

Thursday
December 03rd, 2020

earl watt mugWATTBy EARL WATT

Leader & Times

Liberal has not played a football game since Oct. 9 — a 22-14 win in Great Bend.

The win was the second in a row for the Redskins after knocking off Garden City 20-6 Oct. 2.

Since then, the Redskins forfeited the game with Kapaun since they did not have enough players, and they had a blank on the schedule after the Wichita district school refused to play outside of Wichita.

First, if Liberal had to count the Kapaun game as a loss, why didn’t the Wichita schools have to forfeit all scheduled games they chose not to play? Liberal had to take a loss, but if they would have been given a win, they would have finished 3-5 instead of 2-4 which would have changed their position form playing the third seed (Maize, 7-1) to playing the fifth seed (Goddard, 6-2). It’s not a huge move, but it is a matter of fairness.

Since that isn’t happening, Liberal will face Maize, and it is clear that the Redskins are the underdogs.

Maize saw a perfect season slip away Friday with a 32-28 loss to Hutchinson who leapfrogged Maize to become the No. 2 seed in the West.

bank of beaver sports article

Since Liberal has not played for two weeks, some may think it an advantage to prepare for the playoff opponent. 

The problem is Liberal could have faced as many as five teams, and so it was impossible to try to game plan against one opponent.

Maize was probably thought of as a long shot. The more probable opponents seemed to be Hutchinson, Kapaun or even a rematch with Hays.

The benefit of two weeks without an opponent is not having to game plan against a specific opponent. That should have allowed Liberal to work on basic fundamentals.

Whether that pays off this Friday nor not, it should pay off next season. Two weeks to improve on fundamental blocking, on improving timing on passing routes, and footwork, on defensive backs understanding how to defend routes without having to prepare for a Friday night game is a huge benefit for the program.

In the era of COVID-19, the loss of two games may be worth it in the long run.

And it won’t hurt to be more prepared to face a quality program like Maize.

Liberal lost 49-14 last year to the Eagles in the first round. Maize had a 42-0 halftime lead.

If Liberal’s two wins late in the season are indications of improvement, it will show Friday in Maize.

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