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F-M gets past Liverpool in AA playoff classic

Bright scores winning TD in in final seconds

— Despite all this, the Warriors began to climb back when Watkins, going deep again, found Matt Isbell for a 75-yard TD pass before the first quarter ended. And Liverpool's defense began to settle down, staying at home against the run and shutting down any F-M attempt to throw the ball.

Watkins used a 30-yard run and a 17-yard pass to Elijah Johnson to set up a chance to score in the waning moments of the half. Just as the clock hit zero, Watkins fought his way in for a one-yard TD, and suddenly it was 26-14 at the break.

Liverpool carried that momentum into the third quarter. Jeff Edwards, who was extraordinary on both sides of the ball, used a third-down conversion on a screen pass, dragging several F-M defenders, to set up Johnson's six-yard TD run. Four minutes later, Edwards converted on a 15-yard run, and the once-buried Warriors now had a 28-26 lead.

That didn't last long, either. Greer took a counter handoff and outran the Liverpool defenders 57 yards to the other end zone, putting F-M back up 34-28 after Bright scored on a two-point run.

Edwards, though, was shredding a Hornets defense missing Connor Chen (out for the season with a torn ACL), plus Simmons and Josh Pulver, who went out with injuries during the game. With 9:46 left, Edwards broke two tackles and went 61 yards for a TD. Trevor Monk's fifth straight extra point put the Warriors back in front 35-34.

A tense exchange of possessions followed, both sides unable to convert on fourth downs in the opponents' territory. This left Liverpool with the ball at F-M's 30-yard line, needing just one yard on two plays to run out the clock.

Despite its missing personnel, though, the Hornets stuffed Watkins on third down. Then, with 1:42 left, Edwards sought the clinching first down, but he got stopped, too. F-M had one more chance, and thanks to Shafer's pair of timely throws, would capitalize.

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