Lee’s Summit scored 10 points in the two quarters it had a gusty south wind at its back. Liberty failed to score with the wind.
That simple fact plus a fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown by Talvin Smith helped Lee’s Summit take a 24-0 victory over Liberty in a Missouri Class 6 District semifinal game Friday evening at Tiger Stadium.
“It was pretty big,” Lee’s Summit junior quarterback Drew Lock said about scoring with the wind. “We wanted to set a tone. We had to score there in the third quarter.”
Lee’s Summit, 10-1, gets a rematch against undefeated Blue Springs next Friday in a district championship game. During the regular season, Lee’s Summit suffered its only lost at Blue Springs.
“I’m excited for it,” Lock said. “Hopefully, we can come out and do a little different than we did the last time, but we will see what will go on.”
The Tigers came out against Liberty and played a gritty brand of football. The key for them was the third quarter, when they had the wind at their backs with only a 3-0 lead.
Lee’s Summit needed another score before going into the fourth quarter. The Tigers’ key drive started at their 38 with 5:41 left in the third quarter. Lee’s Summit went 62 yards in five plays, and Caymen Metcalf capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown reception from Lock fir a 10-0 lead.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Smith put the game away with his interception return for a touchdown.
Lee’s Summit senior running back Casey Slaughter played an important role by running hard, giving the Tigers favorably field position throughout the game. Slaughter rushed for over 120 yards.
“He is an animal,” Lock said. “I’m thankful for him being back there.”
Slaughter was finally rewarded late in the fourth quarter when he scored on a 10-yard run that gave the Tigers a 24-point cushion.
“We came out and fought like it was our last game because it could have been,” Slaughter said.
Lee’s Summit led just 3-0 at halftime.
Liberty had a 97-yard TD run called back because of a face mask penalty, and Lee’s Summit had two TDs called back because of penalties.
The half also had a 10-minute delay, when one of the officials left on a stretcher because of a severe leg injury.