PEORIA — It was a rough night for the Salpointe Catholic Lancers (6-1) on Friday, suffering a 49-0 shutout loss to the Liberty Lions on the road. Going into the game, Salpointe head coach Eric Rogers wanted to use this as a measuring stick, and this game shows they still have a lot more room for growth to close out the remainder of the season on top.
“Our season’s not over,” Rogers said. “We’ve still got a region championship to win… We’ve got to find ways to score points.”
Things initially were looking good for Salpointe when Nathan Spivey snagged an interception early in the first quarter. Salpointe wouldn’t be able to do anything with the possession, though, fumbling the ball which was recovered by Liberty.
From there, Liberty’s offense started to click, quickly putting up three touchdowns to give Liberty a 21-0 lead towards the end of the first quarter. The defense was able to close out the first 12 minutes of play with an exclamation point of their own. Reeling in a pick six before putting up a good extra point, the Lions closed out the first quarter leading 28-0.
In the second quarter, the Lancer defense did a better job of helping to control things, giving up only one touchdown. Spivey had his second interception of the night before Liberty got the ball back once again and was able to strike, extending the lead to 35-0.
Spivey wouldn’t stop at two interceptions, though; He was able to snag one more in the end zone just before half, stopping Liberty from further extending the lead.
“He’s arguably one of our best,” Rogers said about Spivey. “He plays offense, he plays defense, he does everything for us. He had a rough week last week and I knew he was going to respond. I knew he was going to come out here and play lights out.”
Coming back out of the half, Liberty continued to dominate while eating away at the clock, putting up yet another touchdown with a little over four minutes remaining in the quarter.
Leading 42-0 at the start of the fourth quarter, it was a running clock for the final 12 minutes of the game. Even with Liberty’s back-ups in, they still were able to march down the field to score, making the final score of the game 49-0.
“That’s as good a football team as you’re gonna play, hands down,” Rogers said. “They’re very well coached, extremely disciplined. Hats off to them. They did a hell of a job.”
While things didn’t go their way, the Lancers never lost composure and maintained positive attitudes for the duration of the game.
Now sitting at 6-1, the Lancers are preparing to stare down a brutal remaining schedule. They’ll host Mountain Pointe for Senior Night next Friday before finishing the season on the road at Scottsdale Saguaro and Brophy College Prep.
“It’s a huge week for us,” Rogers said. “It’s our last home game. We want to honor those seniors, send them out the right way. A good Mountain Pointe team is coming to play us. One of the top running backs in the country. We’re gonna have our hands full again.”