LINDSIDE — Andrew Robertson should twist his ankle more often.

Robertson, conspicuous by his sub-100-yard games of late, ran for 174 yards and three touchdowns as Class AA No. 2 James Monroe defeated No. 5 Liberty 40-6 Friday night.

A 6-foot-2, 187-pound senior, Robertson had fallen off the radar with a string of subpar games. But he made up for it in a matchup that failed to live up to its billing. Robertson scored on runs of 5, 80 and 2 yards as the Mavericks (7-0) outgained the Raiders 304-113 in total offense.

“The line was getting some holes wide open,” Robertson said. “The line really stepped up tonight.”

Robertson was playing hurt after twisting an ankle during an intrasquad scrimmage earlier this week. Assistant coach Danny Wickline said Robertson iced the ankle and had it heavily taped for the game.

“(The) injury actually kind of helped us because we took Andrew out and were able to use Heath Mullins and Jason Jackson,” said Wickline, subbing for head coach Dave Witt, who had to sit out after being ejected from last week’s 14-6 win over Wyoming East.

The Mavericks got a big performance from their defense for the second week in a row. Liberty running back Tommy Newman, who had been averaging 186.7 yards per game, was held to 55 yards on 14 carries.

“We stopped Newman pretty good,” James Monroe lineman Chris Spangler said. “He didn’t get a lot of yards. We have had pretty good success against them.”

“Our defense played well,” Wickline said. “We had a good defensive scheme. We were well prepared and the boys played well.”

Liberty (5-1) hurt its chances with six turnovers that James Monroe converted into 26 points.

“That’s just too many turnovers,” Liberty coach Jeff Alexander said. “They are too good a team to have six turnovers against. You can’t beat anybody when you have six turnovers. This is the worst game we have played this season. We did everything wrong and they did everything right.”

The Mavericks took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on Robertson’s first two TD runs, the first from five yards and the other on an 80-yard run.

A 32-yard run by Jackson made it 21-0 with 3:03 left in the second quarter.

Late in the quarter, Newman intercepted a pass from Jackson at the Liberty 25-yard line and returned it all the way to the Mavs’ 14 with 13 seconds on the clock. On the last play of the half, Newman threw a 4-yard TD pass to Josh Hodge to make it 21-6 at the break.

The second half was when Liberty self-destructed. The Raiders fumbled on back-to-back possessions, and Ben Preston recovered both for the Mavericks.

James Monroe scored on both ensuing drives — a 3-yard run by Mullins and a 2-yarder by Robertson for a 34-6 lead.

A 9-yard run by Mark Boggess made it 40-6 with 4:36 to play.

Liberty hosts Independence next Friday. James Monroe will take the week off before hosting Point Pleasant Oct. 21.

James Monroe 40, Liberty 6

L: (5-1) 0 6 0 0 — 6

JM: (7-0) 14 7 13 6 — 40

First Quarter

JM: Andrew Robertson 5 run (Dalton Pritt kick), 7:09.

JM: Robertson 80 run (Pritt kick), 4:24.

Second Quarter

JM: Jason Jackson 32 run (Pritt kick), 3:03.

L: Josh Hodge 4 pass from Tommy Newman (run failed), :00.

Third Quarter

JM: Heath Mullins 3 run (Pritt kick), 2:59.

JM: Robertson 2 run (kick failed), :09.

Fourth Quarter

JM: Mark Boggess 9 run (kick failed), 4:36.


RUSHING — L: Newman 14-55, Hodge 1-34, Jeremy King 4-20, Nick Hylton 4-6, Dominic Cangemi 2-0, Matt Accord 1-(-3), Austin Wright 3-(-26), JM: Robertson 21-174, Jackson 7-50, Mullins 10-47, Eric Martin 3-12, Boggess 2-12, Lee Triplett 1-1.

PASSING — L: Wright 4-8-2-24, Newman 1-1-0-4, JM: Jackson 1-5-2-8.

RECEIVING — L: Sam Parris 3-17, Hylton 2-8, Hodge 1-4, JM: Taylor Robertson 1-8.

TURNOVERS — L: Newman (INT), King (INT), Nathan Wiliams (INT), JM: Zach Mann (FR), Mitch Tuggle (INT), Ben Preston (2 FR), Mullins (INT).

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