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Warriors blast Nottingham, wraps up playoff berth

Liverpool earns first-round rematch with F-M

— From the moment things kicked off Friday night, it was clear that the Liverpool football team was not interested in having any drama or uncertainty about its Section III Class AA playoff fate.

The Warriors simply tore up Nottingham at LHS Stadium, prevailing 54-6 over the Bulldogs to assure that it will make a return trip to the post-season - and against the same side, Fayetteville-Manlius, that knocked Liverpool out of the playoffs a year ago.

Even with its hard-fought 27-21 win over Cicero-North Syracuse in the 'Star Wars Cup' game on Oct. 7, the Warriors had to beat a much-improved Nottingham squad to avoid a possible three-way tie with Central Square where only two of the teams would advance.

For the most part, Liverpool would stick with its ground game, making sure that the rain and wind did not become a serious factor. And it worked, as the Warriors got four different players to find the end zone in the first half.

Tyland Thompson got it started with a seven-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Later in the period, Patrick Johnson found the end zone from five yards out, making it 12-0.

Jeff Edwards, Liverpool's leading rusher in 2010, took off on a 23-yard TD run early in the second quarter. After Nottingham notched its only points on a 44-yard scoring pass from DayQuan Wilson to Tyquon Hightower, Jordan Stenson answered, finding the end zone both on an 11-yard run and a two-point pass from Zavon Watkins.

Even with a 26-6 halftime lead, Liverpool did not feel completely safe, but that changed after a third quarter where it notched 21 unanswered points.

Watkins found Thompson on a 14-yard scoring pass, and Johnson returned for his second TD on a 20-yard run. And Liverpool's defense capped off the surge when Dillon Springer pounced on a Bulldogs fumble and returned it for six points.

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