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Two of the top teams in the state clash on Friday night in the west valley as the Desert Edge Scorpions host the Peoria Liberty Lions in Goodyear.

Desert Edge, the 2012 Division III state runner up, is tops in the D-III rankings by Maxpreps and is eighth overall in the state. Liberty, which moved up as part of the realignment, is ranked seventh in Division II and 29th in the state.

Desert Edge opened up the season with a 54-8 home rout of South Mountain last Friday. Anthony Hernandez finished a perfect 8-for-8 for 225 yards and five touchdowns, including three to Elijah Marks. Marks ended with four catches for 124 yards in the victory.

The Scorpions are coming off their best season in school history, finishing 13-and-1 and advancing to the state title game for the first time ever. After a perfect 10-and-0 regular season and three straight wins in the playoffs, Desert Edge lost to Queen Creek 9-7 in the Division III Championship Game at Sun Devil Stadium.

Peoria Liberty opened its season with a tough 42-40 loss at defending Division II champion Ironwood Ridge last Friday in Tucson. The Lions are trying to avoid their first 0-and-2 start since their inaugural season in 2008, which they began 0-and-3 en route to a 6-and-6 finish. Liberty has never had a losing season in five years of football.

The Lions are coming off their second straight 10-and-2 finish. Their only regular season setback last year was a 26-0 home loss to Desert Edge on October 12th. Liberty advanced to the second round of the playoffs before falling to Williams Field, 53-20.

Desert Edge and Liberty have met four times on the gridiron with each team winning twice. Kickoff Friday night in Goodyear is set for 7pm.

 

Thomas Jenkins

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