At BR-32, the Liberty Flames Football team is having an adequate 2014 season under Head coach Turner Gill. Outside of an opening week loss to FBS North Carolina 56-29, the Flames only bad loss was a road defeat to BR-80 Indiana State. It’s other defeat was a double-overtime heart breaker to BR-25 Richmond at home 46-39.
Despite a few setbacks, the Flames have plenty of opportunity remaining in the Big South schedule to do some damage. If that were to occur, junior WR Darrin Peterson should be a huge part of it.
Peterson is currently tied for first in the FCS in catches with 52, and his 773 receiving yards ranks second. The Alabama native has also connected with Senior Quarterback Josh Woodrum for six touchdowns. On the year, Peterson has four games with 100 or more receiving yards and has caught at least four passes in every game this season. Despite his efforts, two of Peterson’s biggest performances came in Liberty’s pair of FCS defeats. Peterson caught 12 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Sycamores, and hauled in 11 passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns in the loss to the Spiders.
Peterson’s production is nothing new in the Big South. As a sophomore, he was named 1st-team all-conference after ranking second in the league in catches(58) and receiving touchdowns(7). His 825 receiving yards was second best for a sophomore in school history.. His contribution helped the Flames to an 8-4 record and co-share of the Big South Conference championship.
As a freshman in 2008, Peterson competed in 10 games but caught just four passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. Still, Peterson brought high expectations to Liberty after being named to numerous 1st-team honors at Etowah high school in Alabama. At Etowah, Peterson finished his career with 106 receptions for 2278 yards and 21 touchdowns.
With five games remaining on there schedule, the Liberty Flames have the potential to move up in the standings and capture it’s third straight conference championship. Peterson could very well be the X-factor, as the Flames will play the top two contenders in the league in BR-41 Charleston Southern and rival BR-11 Coastal Carolina.
This time however, the Flames will like to win the league outright. If that happens, the champion could come down to the bitter end.
That game against Coastal will be played in Conway, South Carolina during the final week of the season. In the matchup last year against the Chanticleers, Peterson caught a season high nine balls for 111 yards in a 55-52 overtime loss.
It could very well be a revenge game for the Flames and a winner take all for the conference championship. It could also tie the final bow on special season for Peterson and a Liberty three-peat. However, this time, it will be all to Peterson and themselves.