At least when the Liverpool football team attempts to break its long string of frustration in the Section III Class AA playoffs, it will do so on friendly home turf.
When the Warriors, with a big mid-game offensive eruption, beat Rome Free Academy 42-20 Friday night at RFA Stadium, it clinched a tie for the Class AA-1 division regular-season title with Baldwinsville and Fayetteville-Manlius.
Just as importantly, Liverpool, because it was second in the three-way tie-breaker with the Bees and Hornets, get to play in the first round against defending AA champion West Genesee at LHS Stadium. The winner there plays CBA or Utica Proctor in the semifinal round.
Against a winless RFA side, the Warriors figured it had ample opportunity to bounce back from the 52-29 defeat it took to B’ville a week earlier, and didn’t panic when the Black Knights got on the board early with Angus Evans’ 64-yard touchdown pass to John Allen.
Instead, the Warriors, down 6-0, struck late in the first quarter with Pat Twum’s five-yard scoring run and Trevor Monk’s go-ahead extra point. Then the real fun began.
Liverpool notched 21 unanswered points in the second quarter to take charge. Justin Capoto threw a 14-yard scoring pass to Kyle Crescente, while tailback Jeff Edwards found the end zone on runs of 24 and eight yards, making it 28-6 at the break.
To put it away, the Warriors scored twice more in the third period. Twum, fast becoming an important part of Liverpool’s attack, got a 10-yard TD run, and Anthony Miller scored from that same distance to expand the lead to 42-6.
RFA’s two scores in the fourth quarter came against the reserves as Liverpool looked ahead to West Genesee, a team that knocked the Warriors out of the playoffs in both the 2007 and ’08 semifinals.