May 24, 2024

Ulysses stumbles against Liberal

The Ulysses Tigers and Liberal Redskins met for the first game of the season for the last time Friday night.  The opening game rivalry comes to an end next year due to the redistricting and classification changes coming in 2018, and, the Redskins have a rare victory over the Tigers to savor without any chance at redemption for Ulysses.

The game will also stand out in fans and players memories for the two hour weather delay and a game that lasted almost 5 hours.

Ulysses started the game strong taking their first possession 38 yards for a score on a Zak Anderson 4 yard run. The PAT was blocked making it 6-0.

On the Redskins second possession of the 1st quarter, they scored twice, but both were called back on penalties, holding and too many players. That drive ended as Syris Dunlap pass to the endzone was intercepted by Tiger cornerback Javian Bencomo, who returned it to the Liberal 11.

The game became a stale mate of stalled red zone attempts and first game penalties until just :14 left before half when Dunlap connected with Jett Brown on an 8 yard touchdown pass. The two point PAT was no good knotting the score at 6 all.

As the teams returned to the field after half time, they milled around on the field and then were sent back to the locker room and the stands were cleared as a small but powerful storm approached.  The delay lasted almost two hours and only delivered a 30 minute shower.  Play resumed at 10:30pm.

The third quarter was again a stalemate, but, with both teams playing better. As the fourth quarter began, the Redskins were on the move and drove deep into the Tiger red zone where Dunlap pushed one in from 2 yards out with a QB sneak. The two point conversion was good, putting Liberal up 14-6.

The following Ulysses drive stalled at the Reskin 45 and the Tigers gave it up on downs.  The Redskins in turn stalled out and were deep in a hole due to penalties and losses and were forced to punt.  Liberal Punter Cesar Burciaga had to scoop a low snap out of the grass and then run for his life.  Burciaga picked up 27 yards and the first down and gave Liberal the momentum they needed to 6:00 of clock and score their final touchdown on a 23 yard naked bootleg by Dunlap making it 21-6, Redskins.

With only 1:50 remaining and down two touchdowns the Tigers went into their 2-minute drill and Anderson was replaced at QB by junior Devin Walker who marched the Tigers 80 yards(assisted by two pass interference calls) in 1:48 to get a score in the final seconds with a 10 yard pass from Walker to Sloan Hayden.

Final Score: Liberal 21, Ulysses 12. The Tigers will be on the road Friday to meet GWAC opponent, the Hugoton Eagles.



Rushing – Bencomo   17/81, Sifuentes 3/64, Anderson 12/57

Passing – Anderson 2/5/19yds 1INT, Walker 5/5/71yds 1 TD



Rushing – Marquez 21/140, Dunlap 12/73

Passing – Dunlap 5/9/43yds 1TD 1INT