Haines City Pulls It Out Against Liberty
Sat. September 01, 2012 at 12:24 a.m. | By Solange Reyner
By SOLANGE REYNER
HAINES CITY | When Dacorius Law got a little bit of space on the football field Friday night, he quickly looked like a blur to the defenders who were trying to catch him. Just to keep up with him, you had to make sure you kept an eye on the green tape circled around his cleats.
Law, a junior running back, rushed for 118 yards, scored on an 85 yard kickoff return and also caught up to a defender who swiped the ball from him late in the game despite a 15-yard gap he had to make up for.
His fast feet helped Haines City beat Liberty, 38-32, at Joe Stangry Stadium in a grind-it-out game that lasted nearly three hours and had three lead changes, plenty of sloppy play on both sides and plenty of big plays, too.
Law had a few of the latter and he would have registered 200-plus yards running the ball had a lineman of his not been called for holding near the line of scrimmage in the second quarter.
“The first time we saw him on film I was like ‘Oh my God,” Liberty coach David Benson said about Law. “We told our defense this kid was a game breaker and to contain him because you can’t necessarily stop him.”
They halted him at times, especially when he ran the ball up the middle, but he was key in helping Haines City take over late in the game. Law scored on the kickoff return to start the second half, a touchdown that put the team up, 23-17, and, after a touchdown by Liberty with six minutes left in the quarter, he caught a touchdown pass from Ryan Pynes early in the fourth to make it 31-25 Hornets (1-0).
Jack Tisdale caught a touchdown pass 20 seconds later to give Haines City a 38-25 lead.
Late in the game, with four minutes left and Haines City driving on Liberty’s 20-yard line, Law fumbled the ball on the second play. It looked like Liberty defender Bryce Gray would score after recovering it, but Law, and Pynes, tracked him down and stripped the ball from his hands.
Haines City punted the ball and Liberty scored with 26.6 seconds but that play helped save things for the Hornets.
“That was huge,” Haines City coach Pete Barber said. “If those boys wouldn’t have gotten to him they could have scored right there and then picked back up to make it a game.”
Haines City went up 10-0 early off of points on defense. Sophomore Demaris Span picked up a fumble by Liberty’s Jalen Benn on the second play of the game and returned it 40 yards to put Haines City on the board. Four plays later, a botched snap on a punt attempt by Liberty sailed high and into the end zone, resulting in a safety for Haines City.
Liberty 3 14 8 7 - 32
Haines City 10 6 7 15 - 38
HC - Demaris Span 40 fumble recovery return (Dacorius Law run), 11:24
HC - Safety, 9:59
L - Vanstralendorf 25 FG, 5:26
HC - Christobal Benitez 35 FG, 11:49
L - Steven Phillips 5 run (Vanstralendorf kick), 1:10
HC - Benitez 36 FG, :36
L - Jalen Benn 40 pass from Isaiah Wilson (Vanstralendorf kick), :3.1
HC - Dacorius Law 85 kickoff return (Benitez kick), 11:48
L - Joey Casillas 12 pass from Wilson (Vanstralendorf run), 6:00
HC -- Carius Law 21 pass from Ryan Pynes (Law run), 11:53
HC -- Jack Tisdale 33 pass from Ryan Pynes (Benitez kick), 11:33
L - Wilson 6 run (Vanstralendorf kick), 26.6