Back and forth they went for four quarters.
First it was Liberty with the lead, then Fort Defiance came up with a big couple plays.
Garrett Whorley, though, made sure Liberty had the final word, as the Minutemen held off the Indians, 21-20.
Whorley, who finished with 91 rushing yards on eight carries, found the end zone twice, including his 20-yard run with just under 10 minutes left to tie the game at 20-20. And Tony Mineo’s extra point proved to be the difference.
Mineo was 3 for 3 on extra-point attempts on the night, helping Liberty go up 7-0 in the first quarter and scoring the tying point in the third quarter after Whorley took a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
Fort Defiance took a 14-7 lead with about a minute left in the first half on Austin Monroe’s 1-yard plunge after scoring its first touchdown earlier in the second quarter. Riley Miller scooped up a fumble and returned it 40 yards for the score.
Addison Knicely gave Fort Defiance its other lead, at 20-14, in the third quarter before Whorley’s 20-yard TD run. The extra-point attempt after Knicely’s score failed.
In addition to Whorley, Liberty QB Tanner Stanley also put up nearly 100 yards, finishing 5 for 8 for 99 yards with one interception and a touchdown pass to John Gass that went for 60 yards. Gass caught all five passes.