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December 15, 2018

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high school football:

Rematch set: Liberty, Gorman win spot in regional championship game

Liberty vs IMG Academy

Wade Vandervort

Liberty players perform a haka dance prior their home game against IMG Academy, Friday, Sept. 7, 2018.

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When it's cold out

Ray Brewer and Case Keefer celebrate a fantastic week of high school football largely thanks to Arbor View and Faith Lutheran. They also debate Sierra Vista's chances against Liberty in a quarterfinal game on Friday.

The Liberty High football team scored 29 unanswered points today to open its Desert Region semifinal game against visiting Sierra Vista in a 36-14 victory.

Like it has all season, the Patriots' defense was the difference in holding Sierra Vista scoreless through three quarters.

That defense will be tested in next Saturday’s Desert Region championship game against Bishop Gorman, the nine-time defending state champion. Gorman and Liberty seem to always meet late in the playoffs, and Gorman always ends the Patriots’ season.

“We’ll have to bring our A-game for sure and see if we have narrowed the gap,” Liberty coach Rich Muraco said. “The key with playing them is you have to play sound defense and take away what they want to do.”

Muraco said that is especially true of Bishop Gorman junior quarterback Micah Bowens, who passed for three touchdowns and rushed for two more scores tonight in a 49-3 semifinal victory against visiting Foothill. Two weeks ago, Bowens completed all 10 of his pass attempts and had five touchdowns.

Liberty limited Sierra Vista to less than 20 rushing yards, Muraco said. The Patriots' ground attack produced three rushing touchdowns, from Kyle Beaudry, David Elder and Mana Moniz.

Quarterback Lonenoa Faoa had a pair of touchdown passes, including a 60-yard scoring strike to Maurice Hampton to open the scoring.

The championship game is at 1 p.m. Saturday at Gorman.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21