Mawyer leads Liberty past James Wood

Another week, another huge performance from Liberty sophomore quarterback Austin Mawyer against a Frederick County foe.
After passing for 291 yards and two touchdowns and running for two TDs in a win over Sherando last week, Mawyer completed 14 of 18 passes for 323 yards and four TDs and ran for another score as Liberty defeated James Wood 49-20 on Friday night in Bealeton.
Mawyer passed for four TDs in the first 14 minutes of the game as the Eagles (3-4, 2-1 Class 4 Northwestern District) opened up a 28-0 lead. The Colonels (1-6, 0-3) scored early in the third quarter but Liberty roared back with 21 points to lead 49-6 going into the final 12 minutes.
The Eagles finished with a 489-201 yard advantage.
"We just started off slow for some reason," James Wood head coach Ryan Morgan said in a phone interview on Saturday. "We have to figure out a way to be a little bit more ready from the opening kickoff. We had a similar thing happen when we went to Brentsville where we just weren't ready to play after a long bus ride and a short warm-up." 
Morgan said Liberty caught the Colonels off guard immediately. Morgan said the Eagles haven't taken many snaps from under center this year, but Mawyer did so on the first play from scrimmage and used play-action to connect with Tyler Caporaletti running straight downfield for a 69-yard TD pass.
Mawyer followed with TD strikes of 45 yards to Joey Triplett, 20 yards to Andrew Ryman and 31 yards to Triplett to make it 28-0.
"We knew they were going to throw, but we were just making a lot of silly mistakes in the defensive backfield and with our pass rush," Morgan said. "Sometimes, young high school quarterbacks have open receivers and they overthrow them because they want to be too perfect, or they underthrow them, because they don't want to lead them too far. But everything just seemed to be pretty much on the money [with Mawyer].
"And he made us miss sometimes in the run game. He ran the ball well. He's a good dual-threat quarterback."
James Wood cut its deficit to 28-6 on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Jared Neal (12 of 21 for 114 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions) to Justin Gwinner (three catches for 58 yards).
Liberty responded with an interception return for a touchdown by Jayden Ulloa, a one-yard TD run by Mawyer and a three-yard TD run by Noah Hall.
James Wood would get touchdown runs of 39 and three yards in the fourth quarter from Lane Overbaugh (11 carries, 48 yards), but the Colonels couldn't match Liberty's offense earlier in the game when it needed to.
"We need to block better up front, but they were just more physical than we were," Morgan said. "There were times when something was open, and some of our linemen put their heads down rather than keeping their heads up and seeing the slants or the blitzing linebackers.
"We had an outside zone play called, and one of our linemen stepped left and everybody else was stepping right. There were silly things that we were doing in the first couple of weeks when we couldn't run the ball, and for whatever reason some of the things popped up again last night even though we simplified our run game."  
Overbaugh also had a 52-yard kickoff return and Elijah Richards added 44 yards on nine carries.
The Colonels will travel to winless Fauquier (0-7, 0-3) next Friday, while Liberty travels to Millbrook (3-5, 2-2).
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