“The person that stood out to me the most is rookie running back Cory Kyle,” Pride offensive lineman Mo Taylor told Developmental Football USA. “To score three rushing touchdowns in a game is very impressive. I believe he is the first West Texas Pride running back to do so. The kid runs with tons of heart. I’ve always been a fan of his when he was at Seagraves High School where he had an amazing career, and now I have the honor of blocking for him on the Pride.”
The Pride put together a long drive on their first possession of the game, which was capped off by Kyle’s first touchdown of the night to lead 6-0. However, the Eagles would respond when Lubbock quarterback Zach Walls found wide receiver Jabari Parker for a touchdown to send the game into halftime tied 6-6.
“I told them the goal is not to be better than the other man, but to be better than your previous self,” Eagles head coach Charles Luster told Developmental Football USA.
By all accounts, the Eagles were better than their previous selves on Saturday night in the rematch with the Pride. West Texas won the first meeting between the two teams 34-10 one month ago and the Eagles kept this game within three points until the final four minutes of play.
In the third quarter, Cade Hogan punched in a field goal for West Texas to regain the lead, 9-6.
Leading by three points to open up the fourth quarter, it was all Pride from that point forward. Kyle punched in his second touchdown of the night with 3:09 left in the game to lead 15-6.
Adidas Moore – one of the Lubbock residents that travels to Midland to play for the Pride – picked off a Walls pass to get the ball back in the hands of the West Texas offense with just a few minutes left. Kyle finished off the hat trick by scoring his third touchdown of the night, along with the two-point conversion with 36 seconds left.
Joshua Chatman also put together a big day for West Texas with five receptions for 107 yards.
“Our team has a lot of work to do,” Taylor said. “Like coach (Fred) Thwreatt mentioned before the game, each game is a chapter of our season. Let’s just say we have plenty of chapters left, and the story only gets better. Our next game is against the West Texas Lions out of El Paso. This should be a great test for us, but I feel we have a good chance to do something positive and have a great season.”
Cutting the margin of defeat from 24 points to 17 points in a hostile road environment speaks volumes for the amount of improvement the Lubbock Liberty Eagles have made in the past three weeks.
“I saw a lot of fight out of our team,” Luster said. “I saw us grow as a team. The improvement was from the guys buying in and dedicating themselves at practice, and working on their craft away from practice and us watching film.
“We feel like we are legitimately a contender for the Rio Grande Football League Championship. We still know there is work to be done, one game at a time. We can’t let up. Our guys got a great test out of a well-oiled machine, but we need to stay focused and not get distracted by the outsiders of our organization.”