Doherty wasted little time in flexing its offensive muscle against Liberty.
Zach Young took a handoff on the game's second play and turned it into an 82-yard touchdown, setting the tempo as the Spartans scored virtually at will and dominated defensively, blasting Liberty 49-7 Friday at District 20 Stadium.
Young, a senior, ended the night with 246 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. Meanwhile, senior quarterback Evan Powell picked apart the Lancers' defense for 232 yards and three touchdowns on 9-of-13 passing, as the Spartans won their season opener for the first time since 2006.
"The boys deserve some success," Spartans second-year coach David Joyce said. "They've worked so hard. They don't shy away from hard work."
The Spartans (1-0) also scored on the second play of their second possession when Kyle Carey caught a quick bubble screen and raced 54 yards untouched for a touchdown. Young added touchdown runs of 27 and 1 yards in the second quarter. Doherty built a 28-0 lead by halftime and rolled up 369 total yards to Liberty's 34. Doherty amassed 567 total yards in the game.
"The line blocked, everyone took care of their assignments, and we had a good game," Young said. "We knew they played a lot of guys on the line (of scrimmage). If the line could take care of the blocks, I could get around the corner."
In the third quarter, Powell added touchdown strikes of 20 and 47 to Brandon Supernaw, last season's opening-day starter at quarterback, as the Spartans extended the lead to 42-0, enacting the running clock.
"We've been working on our tempo for about six months, so to put it into action felt real good," Powell said. "It's a great feeling. We haven't started 1-0 in a while, and this is a great way to start a season. Maybe it shows what we can do."
Liberty (0-1), playing in its first game under new coach Clarence Vaughn, showed signs of life behind sophomore backup quarterback Hunter Waringa, who relieved an injured Eric Ziegler in the third quarter. Waringa energized the Liberty crowd with a 38-yard run on a keeper, then added a 20-yard run that put the ball at the Doherty 12.
One play later, senior Austin Buhl got to the left corner and into the end zone to avert the shutout.
"Everybody, when they showed up in the second half, they did their job," Buhl said. "I'm proud of Hunter, and everyone played with a lot of heart. We just need to keep working."