There’s some pretty good high school football being played in Peoria.
Division II top-seed Liberty (11-1) raced out to a 28-6 halftime lead and cruised past eighth-seed Paradise Valley 42-13 in a game many felt would be much closer. The Lions dominated offensively, defensively and on special teams keeping PV’s talented quarterback-wide receiver duo of Jacob Brown and Daniel Bridge-Gadd in check the entire night.
“All three aspects of the game were won,” Lion senior defensive lineman Aaron Blackwell told Sports360AZ.com after the victory. “[We were] all just doing our part and we just steamrolled them quick and kept it going.”
Blackwell was one of the many stars who harassed the dangerous Bridge-Gadd before the junior eventually left with an undisclosed lower leg injury after fumbling in the Lions’ red zone.
After Liberty senior quarterback Tyler Wyatt completely dissected the Trojans’ (10-2) defense with the help of excellent protection from his offensive line he complimented his defense for stepping up to the challenge against PV’s high-scoring attack.
“They can stop the run, they can stop the pass,” he explained on the field after the game. “All the screens and trick plays they’re there for.”
Liberty squashed any hope of a Paradise Valley comeback shortly after halftime when Wyatt found junior wide receiver Deyton Jackson down the seam and behind the secondary for a touchdown. The Trojans would never threaten again.
“We were prepared,” Liberty head coach Danny Filleman said. “These kids played their tails off…it was a great team win.”
The win sets up a semifinal matchup with 10-seed Chaparral next Friday, coincidentally at Paradise Valley High.