Willis, Liberty dominate second half in 36-12 win over UAB

National Sports

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP)Malik Willis accounted for three touchdowns – all in the third quarter – and Liberty pulled away in the second half to defeat UAB 36-12 in nonconference action on Saturday.

After each team managed only a field goal in the first half, Willis used just five plays to get the Flames (4-1) into the end zone on their first possession of the third quarter. He connected with Demario Douglas for a 34-yard gain on first down and then used three carries to cover the final 33 yards – capping the drive with an 8-yard TD run. After a three-and-out by the Blazers (3-2), Douglas returned a punt 14 yards to the UAB 39-yard line and Willis fired a scoring strike to CJ Daniels on first down to put Liberty up 17-3. After another three-and-out by UAB, Willis hooked up with Douglas for a 70-yard gain and capped the drive with a 1-yard TD run for a 24-3 advantage. Joshua Mack had an 8-yard TD run in the final quarter and Liberty freshman QB Johnathan Bennett got in on the scoring with a 33-yard TD strike to Treon Sibley.

Willis completed 13 of 19 passes for 289 yards and ran for 144 yards on 15 totes. Douglas finished with four receptions for 128 yards. Liberty, an independent, outgained the Blazers 544 yards to 325.

Jermaine Brown Jr. had a 59-yard TD run for the UAB in the final quarter. He finished with 106 yards on nine carries.

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