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Liberty Ranch rolls past Lathrop
Spartans give up 28 unanswered points in season opener
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GALT—The Lathrop High Spartans came out flat in the season opener at Liberty Ranch.

They lost to the Hawks, 42-7.

“We played too much on defense,” said Lathrop coach Jesse Rodriguez. “It wasn’t good defense.”

Defense did provide an early spark for the Spartans as safety Preston Rizo picked off a pass early in the game. But Lathrop couldn’t do much on offense, giving Liberty Ranch back the ball.

From there, the Hawks marched 55 yards on seven plays, with quarterback Jacob Tibbetts scoring from 3 yards out. Eliceo Pintor’s extra point kick made it 7-0.

In the second quarter, Liberty Ranch took advantage of a turnover, recovering a fumble on the Lathrop 8. Tibbetts then hit his tight end, Sean Avis, on the touchdown strike.

Lathrop’s break came on an onside-kick recovery at midfield. Quarterback Kenny Garrett found tight end Austin Plunk (6 receptions, 83 yards) on a 25-yard pass completion. The pair connected again moment later, with Plunk hauling in the pass for a 17-yard touchdown shortly before the half.

Liberty Ranch struck back in a hurry. Tibbetts’ second touchdown pass went to Pintor for 4 yards, boosting the Hawks’ lead, 21-7.

In the second half, Liberty Ranch wore down the Spartans. Trevon Windley scored three times in that span, in turn, putting the game out of reach.

“I really thought we would come in here and play better. Instead, we laid an egg,” Rodriguez said.