MARION - When Liberty-Benton is sitting on a lead heading into the fourth quarter, one can usually put an X in the win column.
But Wynford's Phillip Evans had a different idea last night at Harding Stadium.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior ran for 127 fourth-quarter yards as the Royals pulled out a 27-16 victory over Liberty-Benton in a Division V, Region 18 semifinal.
Wynford (12-0) will now face top-ranked Patrick Henry (12-0), a 41-6 winner over Wayne Trace last night, next Friday at a site to be determined.
"We were up two scores in the second half. Normally, our defense is going to win that for us," said Liberty-Benton coach Scott Garlock, whose defense had allowed just 90 points going into the game.
But Evans went 29-plus yards on three of his first five fourth-quarter carries, including touchdowns of 29 and 37 yards. He added the final score on a one-yard run, after setting it up with a 40-yard scamper.
"That kid is a great football player. He doesn't do it alone. The offensive line got off the ball and they were moving us. We didn't step up and stop them when we had to," Garlock said.
Evans had also scored on the Royals' first possession of the game when he went four yards on a fourth-and-one.
Despite Evans' presence, it was Liberty-Benton which led most of the game. Michael Busch booted a 22-yard field goal to open the contest. He then went 51 yards on a receiver sweep as the Eagles (10-2) opened a 10-7 lead after one quarter and made that margin hold until the half.
Busch, who had 109 yards on five carries, got the Eagles' final score with 3:16 left in the third quarter on a nine-yard run for a 16-7 lead.
"I think they were surprised that we got it outside," Garlock said. "They packed it in and stopped us inside, so were able to break some long ones on the outside."
The Eagles were without the services of starting quarterback Wyatt Elbin. He played defensively but couldn't play QB after breaking his right (throwing hand) thumb Wednesday in practice.
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