It looked like Guymon would wipe away 21 years of frustration against Liberal Friday night. Guymon led most of the game, but a desparate LHS rally would lift to Redskins to a 42-32 win at Guymon's McKinnon Field Friday night. Liberal won despite 16 penalties for 130 yards and three fumbles inlcuding two returned for touchdowns by Guymon. The Tigers turned it over five times leading to the loss. Liberal scored 22 points after Guymon turnovers. Slader McVey tossed four touchdown passes with no interceptions.
Head LHS football coach Wade Standley says his team has to learn to win in all shapes and sizes. "These young men are a group of brothers and they believe in each other," Standley said after the Okemah, Oklahoma native coached his first game in the Sooner State since Tulsa Union won the state title with Standley as the defensive coordinator in 2008. "They kept believing tonight and that's how we got the win. There's emotion there because they're experiencing things they haven't experienced before and they're positive things. To be a great team you have to win the close games and you have to win the ugly ones and we did that tonight."
Liberal got out of the gates quickly when Justin McPhail intercepted a pass on the first play from scrimmage and took it to the Guymon five. McVey found Tyson Deaton with a nine yard touchdown. A Jade Cathey punt return to the five set up a 12 yard McVey to Cathey touchdown pass and not even three minutes into the first quarter (9:12 mark) and Liberal had a 14-0 lead. Abe Benitez would recover a fumble with 4:20 to go in the quarter for Guymon's second turnover. A Colter Headrick 30 yard run got the Tigers on the board with 1:51 to play in the quarter to make it 14-6. A Braxton Dain 30 yard run one minute into the second quarter made it 14-12. Jace Melton recovered a Cathey dropped pass behind the line of scrimmage and took it all the way for a touchdown and a two point conversion by Dain made it 20-14 Tigers with 10:52 to play in the half. Guymon would then hold Liberal and McPhail on a fourth and goal at the two. After Guymon faked a punt and completed a 31 yard pass, Headrick found Dain for a 47 yard touchdown past over the middle. Guymon led 26-14 at half.
The Redskins began the second half with a physical drive capped by a McPhail one yard touchdown to make it 26-21 with 9:45 to play in the third. Liberal's second drive was also headed the right direction but as Cathey was fighting for extra yards after a reception, he fumbled the ball and Headrick scooped it up for an 85 yard return for a touchdown to make it 32-21 Guymon with 6:39 to play in the third quarter. Liberal would be on the move again but Melton recoved a fumble with 10:39 to go. Liberal finally scored when McVey found Deaton with an 18 yard hook up with over three minutes to play. Guymon's Headrick fumbled and Benitez recovered at the Guymon 32 with 2:20 to play. McVey then found Cathey over the top as the 6'5" senior made a juggling catch in double coverage to give the Skins a 33-32 lead with 2:03 to go. McVey ran in the two point conversion. Jesus Esparza recovered another Guymon fumble with 1:35 to play. McPhail took it in from 16 yards out to make it 42-32. Brian Morris intercepted a pass at the end of the game. Unofficially, Liberal had 341 yards and 241 in the air. Guymon had 319 yards.
Liberal is 2-0 for the first time since 2003. The Redskins play at 2-0 Hays Friday at 7 p.m. Guymon is 0-2 and plays at 0-2 Hugoton Friday.