Liberty holds on to defeat Akron 21-12

Sep 24, 2022, 6:51 AM | Updated: 6:59 pm

LYCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Jonathan Bennett threw two touchdown passes and Dae Dae Hunter ran for the clinching touchdown as Liberty defeated Akron 21-12 on Saturday night.

Bennett threw touchdown passes of 22 yards to Khaleb Coleman and 30 to Treon Sibley to put the Flames (3-1) up 14-0 in the first minute of the second quarter. The Zips (1-3) had a chance to tie it early in the fourth.

DJ Irons hit Alex Adams for an 11-yard score to pull Akron within 14-12 but Irons was stopped on a 2-point conversion run. The Zips final four drives did not produce a threat.

Bennett, Liberty’s third-string quarterback, was 13 of 27 for 152 yards and an interception. With the offense struggling following the early lead, fourth-straight quarter Nate Hampton entered the game to engineer the key drive.

Starting on their own 48, Hunter carried four times, including a 31-yard burst, and Hampton had back-to-back carries for 12 yards. Eventually Hunter capped it with a 1-yard plunge. Hunter finished with 118 yards on 18 carries.

Irons was 29 of 52 for 269 yards.

The Flames lost quarterback Charlie Brewer in the first quarter of the season opener and Kaidon Salter, who started the last two games, sat out with a groin injury after nearly leading the Flames past Wake Forest last week.

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Liberty holds on to defeat Akron 21-12