HomeSportsSouth Side starts slow, but ends big in win over Liberty

South Side starts slow, but ends big in win over Liberty

Thursday night’s matchup between South Side and Liberty’s football teams was closer than some expected early on, but the Hawks took over after halftime and came away with a 36-0 victory.

Liberty’s defense did a good job of keeping South Side from getting big plays or sustaining drives, and the Hawks (2-1) didn’t get on the scoreboard until about midway into the second quarter.

And they stayed a touchdown ahead until right before halftime when an interception and return deep into Liberty territory led to a field goal and a 10-0 Hawk lead.

South Side coach Lester Narcisse gave Liberty (0-3) credit for the way they played.

“Liberty wants to win too, and they came out fighting trying to do that,” Narcisse said. “And I don’t know what was going on with our guys, but we came out flat and had a hard time getting everything going.”

Narcisse and the coaching staff had a meeting with the players at halftime to encourage them to play more consistently.

The message worked as South Side marched down the field with the opening possession of the third quarter and scored.

They scored on four consecutive possessions to pull away to the convincing win.

In the middle of the scoring was running back Chuck Stokes, who ran for a touchdown and caught two more. He finished with 50 rushing yards and 111 in the air.

“It means a lot to get this win and to beat a team here in the city because we want to be the best in the city,” Stokes said after the game.

Rakarius Lacy finished with 83 rushing yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Layton Robertson completed seven of nine passes for 180 yards and four touchdowns. Austin Hardin and Jamarion Burns caught the other two scores.

Liberty head coach Scott Akin was glad to see his team play a better brand of ball in this game than in the previous two.

“Our team is young, but they’re working hard to get better, and I can see that we are,” Akin said. “This is a perfect example because we were just down a touchdown right before halftime.

“But another thing we’ve got to learn is to continue to play tough late in the game. We didn’t play tough in the second half tonight, and it cost us.”

The good thing about the Thursday night matchup and the long weekend for Jackson-Madison County Schools is both teams have the opportunity for a couple days’ break before getting back to it.

Liberty will begin region play against Westview at home, while South Side travels to Crockett County before opening region play a week later.

“They get tomorrow away from football and school, and they get the weekend, but then we’re back practicing Monday morning,” Narcisse said about the Hawks. “And other than practicing earlier in the day, we’re back to a normal routine, so hopefully we’ll see a better focus Monday through Thursday from them and that’ll translate into a greater focus next Friday.”

Brandon Shields,

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