ARGYLE — Liberty Christian needed a quality win going into the TAPPS football playoffs, and quarterback Foster Ford delivered in a big way Friday night.
The 6-foot, 195-pound senior threw for 302 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Warriors to a 50-42 Division 1-1 victory over Dallas Bishop Lynch in a game in which the teams combined for 49 fourth-quarter points.
Ford completed 16 of 23 passes with no interceptions as the Warriors mounted 578 yards total offense. Graham Richardson caught six passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns, and Camron Cornett rushed for 97 yards and scored twice for the Warriors (5-5, 3-3 district).
The contest was a high-scoring affair from start to finish as both teams were battling for playoff seeding and needed points to settle tiebreakers. In the end, the Warriors, Bishop Lynch and Plano Prestonwood Christian all finished in a three-way tie with 3-3 district records. With the final point differentials, Bishop Lynch will be the No. 3 seed, Prestonwood the No. 4 seed and Liberty Christian the No. 5 seed in the playoffs.
The Warriors will travel to San Antonio to play Antonian in the first round of the state playoffs. The game is tentatively set for 6 p.m. Friday.
After giving up a touchdown on the game’s opening drive, Liberty Christian scored on its first three possessions to build a 21-7 lead by halftime.
Bishop Lynch (6-4, 3-3) came back with 15 third-quarter points to take a 22-21 lead. Devon Holy kicked a 31-yard field goal, Anthony Mullins returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown, and Rawleigh Williams III caught a 28-yard scoring pass from Barrett Renner for the Friars.
Then things got interesting as the teams tried to mount as many points as they could, not knowing the playoff implications.
The Warriors, who had been shut out since the first quarter, opened the fourth quarter with Ford’s 41-yard touchdown pass to Richardson. Three minutes later, following a Benn Hawkins interception, Ford connected with Cody Hughes from 6 yards out, and Ford’s pass to Mitchell Rowsell for the two-point conversion gave the Warriors a 36-22 lead.
Williams scored on a 12-yard run with 2:56 left to get the Friars to within 36-29. Liberty Christian recovered the onside kick and on the first play, Ford threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Jon Aaron Howell.
One minute later, Williams scored on a 10-yard run, and the Friars were back within 43-35 with 1:42 left.
The Warriors again recovered the onside kick and again on the first play, Ford connected for a touchdown, hitting Cornett from 52 yards with 1:32 to play. The Friars added one more score, a 13-yard pass from Renner to Mullins, with 23 second left.
The Warriors gave up the first score of the game but dominated after that, forcing the Friars to go three-and-out on their next three possessions and limiting Bishop Lynch to only two first-half first downs and 74 yards total offense.
The Friars struck on the game’s opening drive. On the third play, Renner fired over the middle to Mullins, who escaped for a 55-yard scoring strike.
Richardson returned the ensuing kickoff 63 yards to the Friars’ 31. Three plays later, Zach Keller scored on a 21-yard run up the middle.
The Warriors had the ball back after four plays and went 58 yards in seven plays for Cornett’s 5-yard scoring run and a 14-7 lead with 5:13 left in the first quarter.
The Friars were held on downs, and the Warriors again struck in only two plays on Ford’s 37-yard scoring strike to Richardson.
Mikael Sroka missed a 35-yard field goal try early in the second quarter, and the half ended with Liberty Christian threatening with first-and-goal at the 5. Howell picked up 4 yards, but then was stopped three times from the 1 as the half ended.
Liberty Christian 50, Dallas Bishop Lynch42
BL — Anthony Mullins 55 pass from Barrett Renner (Devon Holy kick), 11:02
L — Zach Keller 21 run (Mikael Sroka kick), 8:47
L — Camron Cornett 5 run (Sroka kick), 5:13
L — Graham Richardson 37 pass from Foster Ford (Sroka kick), 3:04
BL — Holy 31 field goal, 8:06
BL — Mullins 91 punt return (kick failed), 4:13
BL — Rawleigh Williams III 28 pass from Renner (run failed), 2:05
L — Richardson 41 pass from Ford (Sroka kick), 11:50
L — Cody Hughes 6 pass from Ford (Mitchell Rowsell pass from Ford), 8:14
BL — Williams III 12 run (Holy kick), 2:56
L — Jon Aaron Howell 51 pass from Ford (Sroka kick), 2:42
BL — Williams III 10 run (run failed), 1:42
L — Camron Cornett 52 pass from Ford (Sroka kick), 1:32
BL — Mullins 13 pass from Renner (Holy kick), :23
Rushing — BL:Rawleigh Williams III 18-86, Anthony Mullins 5-58, Barrett Renner 3-11, Ira Nunley IV 3-9. L:Camron Cornett 18-97, Jon Aaron Howell18-57, Zach Keller 4-25, Foster Ford 3-19, Hunter Griffin 3-19, Benn Hawkins2-7, Hunter Reece 1-6, Graham Richardson 2-4.
Passing — BL:Barrett Renner 11-27-1 195. L: Foster Ford 16-23-0 302.
Receiving — BL:Anthony Mullins 6-137, Rawleigh Williams III 3-37, Nick Martinez 1-12, Kyle Jamieson 1-9. LC: Graham Richardson 6-136, Jon Aaron Howell2-67, Camron Cornett 1-52, Josiah Hartlzer 1-10, Benn Hawkins 1-9, Mitchell Rowsell 1-8, Hunter Griffith1-8, Hunter Reece 1-6, Cody Hughe 1-6.