By TYLER HENRY
Salina Post contributor
The Salina Liberty will be back in action tonight as the team travels to Gillette Wyoming for a matchup with the Mustangs tonight at 8pm.
Wyoming enters this game at 1-1 after falling to Dodge City 20-18 in the team’s CIF debut last week while Salina comes in at 3-0.
The Liberty have been rolling to start their season, outscoring opponents by 50 points through the teams first two games, and making it incredibly difficult for the rest of the league to put points on the board.
“Our defense hasn’t been a surprise but it’s definitely one of the things I’m the most proud of,” Liberty head coach Heron O’Neal said. “We knew they would be good but we’re definitely loving the rookies that have come in and played well for us on that side of the ball.”
That stout Salina defense will need to be on full display this week as the Mustangs boast a roster with two solid quarterbacks in Faustino Saucedo Jr. and David Perkins.
“Offensively they have two quarterbacks that can make every single throw,” O’Neal said. “They’re mobile and they have some guys that they can throw the football to. Their receiving corps is one of the better ones in the league and their offensive line is probably the biggest in the league.”
On the other side of the ball, the Liberty will need to stay sharp on offense, following 52 and 39 point performances in the team's first two league games.
A big reason for the Liberty’s offensive success has been star running back Tracy Brooks, who leads the league in rushing yards per game, 30-yards clear of the next best back in the CIF.
“Tracy is playing like the all league running back that walked off that field in 2019, maybe even better,” he said. “His vision has improved, he’s bigger and more physical and I would say he’s quicker side to side.”
In addition to Brooks, Salina has found their signal caller with Tyrie Adams taking over and finding success at quarterback.
“His poise has impressed me,” O’Neal said. “He’s never rattled and I love the way the team gravitates towards him and the way he interacts with everyone on the team. I think he’s only scratching the surface of what he’s going to be as we get him more reps in our system.”
Despite the fact that this is the first season in the league for Wyoming, the Mustangs will provide a tall task for the Liberty tonight on the back end of a 12-hour bus ride to Gillette.
“They’re going to be a formidable test for us,” he said. “They’re probably leading the league in attendance selling out their arena every game so that’s going to be tough to deal with. It’s going to be hard for us to get out of there with a win but that’s what we’re going there to do.”
Kickoff between the Liberty and Mustangs is set for 8pm in Gillette and the game can be heard on KINA (910 AM or 107.5 FM) on Eagle Radio.