Courtesy of the Salina Post
Written by Tyler Henry
On the heels of back-to-back overtime thrillers, the Salina Liberty took care of business in fine fashion on Sunday, manhandling the Marshals 42-18 in South Dakota.
With this win, the Liberty advance to 3-1 while the Marshals continue their search for their first league win at 0-4.
If the defensive side of things was still a question mark for Salina ahead of kickoff it didn’t show, as the Liberty held their opponents scoreless in the first quarter and never looked back, keeping Rapid City off the board entirely until the closing seconds of the half.
The Marshals would show life out of the intermission striking for an early score to cut the Liberty lead to nine but Salina would outscore them 14-6 the rest of the way in their first true defensive win of the season.
This stonewall effort was led by the unlikeliest of suspects as the Salina secondary roared to life, picking off Marshal QB Tahj Thomas-Tolbert three times, including two INTs from Deetray Matthews who led the charge.
On the ground, things didn’t look much better for Rapid City, who ran the ball 12 times but were held to an unheard-of 20 yards on the day, averaging less than two yards per carry.
Offensively, it was another 100-yard performance for Liberty signal-caller Jerod Evans, who completed just under 60% of his passes including a pair of touchdowns on the day.
With week four officially in the books, Evans now ranks second among all quarterbacks in the league in passing yards (603), third in passing touchdowns (12), and third in rushing touchdowns (4).
Thanks in large part to his two-interception day, Deetray Matthews is now third in the league in picks, and Travis Taylor, who added another against the Marshals now sits in 2nd with four sacks on the year.
This victory caps off a brutal three-game road trip for the Liberty, who will now get to play their next four games at home beginning this Saturday when the team returns to Salina to take on the 2-2 Billings Outlaws at 6:35.