Liberty and Chaparral traded blows for three quarters but two Kurt Shughart TD runs in the 4th, propelled Chaparral to a 42-27 win in the Cox 7 Game of the Week.
Liberty, riding a two game winning streak after starting the season 0-5, got the ball first and went right to business, taking an early 7-0 lead on a Kaden Kubaiko to Ricky Tuita TD pass from 40 yards out.
Chaparral answered with a 6 play, 60 yard drive capped off on a Grayson Berry to Ryan Bright TD pass. 7-7.
Chaparral's defense finally came up with the first defensive stop of the game and the Firebird offense was clicking. Barry hit TE Christian Skeptaris for big gains on the drive, setting up a Kurt Shughart TD run, his first of four scores in the game. 14-7 Firebirds after 1.
It looked like Chaparral's defense forced another stop but Liberty faked the punt and got a 1st down on a horse collar penalty. Liberty capitalized, scoring on another Kubaiko to Tuita TD pass a few plays later. Tied 14-14.
This time it was Liberty's defense that would come up with the stop and then RB Colton Newton came up big, racing across midfield to the 35 yard line on a draw and then gaining 23 yards on another nice run. Liberty would go no further and settled for a field goal, taking the lead back 17-14.
Chaparral was able to get on the board in the closing seconds of the first half on a Barry to Gianni Tomasi TD pass. Chaparral 21, Liberty 17 at the half.
The Lions didn't make down. LB Chase Hulbert blocked a Chaparral punt on the opening series of the second half and Liberty kicked another field goal to cut the lead to 21-20.
After a series of punts by both squads, Chaparral safety Kurt Shughart got the Firebirds back on the board on a 48 yard pick 6. 28-20.
Liberty responded immediately as WR Deyton Jackson took the fly sweep at 80 to paydirt. Chaparral 28, Liberty 27 after three.
Shughart added two rushing TDs in the 4th quarter to seal the victory for Chaparral.
Final: Chaparral 42, Liberty 27
I think this was a better game than most people expected, Liberty has definitley improved as the season has moved along. Chaparral was able to get some things going in the passing game with Barry and WR Ryan Bright and TE Christian Skeptaris.
Chaparral RB Kurt Shughart for his 4 TDs.