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Liberty and Centennial Set To Clash in Open Division Final

When/Where To Tune In

The Liberty Lions and Centennial Coyotes face off in Arizona’s open state championship on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m.

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The high schools will play at Arizona State University’s Mountain American Stadium in Tempe.

Liberty’s Path To The Final

The Lions (11-1) have shown pure dominance this season, averaging 47.5 points and over 500 yards of offense per game. They defeated Hamilton and Highland over the last two weeks, coming off a 54-12 victory against Highland.

The team has as much momentum and confidence as ever, while their focus now shifts to Centennial.

Liberty sophomore defensive lineman Giovanni Nicosia knows the importance of this championship game but is not letting it get to his head.

“Just staying locked in and being prepared is the way we’ve been going about it,” Nicosia said. 

Centennial Defeats Defending Champions

The Coyotes (11-1) defeated the defending state champion Basha Bears 35-27 to advance to the final. The team’s only loss of the season came to Liberty earlier in November, further motivating them for this game. Centennial wide receiver Ricky Muñoz emphasized how thrilled the team was to have an opportunity for a rematch against the No. 1 seed in the state. 

“It was a great feeling, definitely knew we weren’t finished but in the moment, the entire team was so excited,” Munoz said. “But more so to get our rematch against the team up North.”

This is the biggest game of most players’ lives and they are not taking that for granted heading into Saturday.

“We are extremely focused on this game and we’re making sure it’s the most important thing in our lives right now,” Centennial’s 1st team all-region offensive lineman Brady Bakke said.

2023’s top high school football program in the state will be crowned to one of these teams Saturday and both are doing everything they can to ensure they come out on top.

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