Coming into Friday night, Winnetonka hoped it had a good chance of extending its four-game winning streak.
By RYAN McCARTHY
Special to The Star
But weather played a factor in shortening the Griffins’ chance with a lightning delay that left them leading 21-7 against Liberty North with 11:39 remaining in the fourth quarter at North Kansas City High School.
There were two stoppages due to the lighting delay. The last one left the game ready to be picked up again at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
After exchanging field position for the first few possessions, Winnetonka struck in the first quarter when Julious Sabastiano hit James Gilock for a 17-yard pass in the corner of the end zone giving the Griffins the early lead in the first quarter.
Striking early has been something that Winnetonka has been able to accomplish throughout the first part of the season. The Griffins came into the game averaging 33.4 points per game.
But Liberty North responded with a score of its own when quarterback Brian Sharp hit Jack DeGarmo for a 38-yard score, tying the game up at 7-7.
Sharp completed nine of 19 passes for 154 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Winnetonka tried to take advantage of drives inside the Eagles’ territory but failed on many attempts.
Things changed when Winnetonka junior Marquise Doherty picked off one of Sharp’s passes and returned it deep into Liberty North territory.
Doherty wasn’t through, though, as he would end up carrying the ball into the end zone on an ensuing running play. He pushed through the line and scored a TD on a 1-yard run with 1:22 remaining before the break. That gave Winnetonaka a 14-7 lead.
Doherty lined up in several different positions throughout the game, including at quarterback for the Griffins. Doherty was the team’s leading rusher with 38 yards on eight carries, including the 1-yard score.
Winnetonka scored again with 2:07 remaining in the third quarter when Sabastiano connected with Gilock once again for 31 yards for a touchdown, giving the Griffins their two-score lead.
Sabastiano completed nine of 15 passes for 95 yards. Gilock had three catches for 52 yards.