City High Falls to Liberty in the Clash at Kinnick

Jack Rogers

Thomas Ksobiech, Reporter


Rumors of a football game between City High and Liberty being held at Kinnick Stadium had been circling for months. When the Clash at Kinnick was confirmed and the date was set, naturally, the hype for the game grew immensely. It’s not everyday that a high school football game gets to be played in a stadium that holds 70,000 people.

With City High electing to kickoff, Liberty, on the first possession marched down the field and took a quick 6-0 lead. Liberty’s kicker, Hayden Saul ‘23, proceeded to hit a 37-yard field goal on their next drive to expand the lead to 9-0.

The second quarter was nothing short of madness. With City High entering the quarter down 9-0, City needed to fight back and get on the board. Before City could get on the board, Liberty scored another touchdown to go up 16-0. On City’s first play of the next drive, Akili Mattox ‘23, took a reception all the way down the field for their first score of the game. Liberty returned City High’s kickoff all the way back to the endzone for another touchdown making the score 23-6.

Then City’s junior quarterback Drew Larson sent up a deep 80 yard bomb to senior wide receiver Akili Mattox for a touchdown.

City High scored two unanswered touchdowns to send City to the locker room down 23-19.

City High had responded to the deficit and cut down a 17-point lead to only a single score. As City came back to the field, there was hope and promise in the air.

“We had changed the momentum for a bit there,” Moore said. “I felt like we had everybody back in control coming out of halftime. But then we had our drive stalled by a 15-yard holding penalty. You could feel the wind blow out of the sails at that point, and I don’t know why that was.”

As the third quarter started, Liberty continued to control the game as they did in the first half. The Little Hawk defense stepped up and held the Bolts to only 13 points in the second half. The defense began to get into a rhythm and step up, however, the offense continued to struggle to string together a long drive. They remained scoreless during the third and fourth quarters, in part due to senior Ben Kueter’s 19 total tackles. 

Under the Friday Night Lights at historic Kinnick Stadium, the Little Hawks fell 19-36.  Even in a loss most of the fans left hoping City and Liberty would get another chance to play at Kinnick.