The Liberty Leopards had a chance to claim a share to the AAC Blue Tier Championship on a cold and rainy evening at Leopard Stadium but it was the rival Girard Indians who took command early to claim the outright conference title with a 42-12 victory in the Battle of Belmont.
Girard scored on the games opening drive going 11 plays and covering 75 yards as senior Indian quarterback Mark Waid connected with Terrence Davis from 17 yards out.
The Indians would strike again before the end of the first quarter to go up 14-0 and would eventually take a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter before Liberty found a way to break through to the end zone as senior wide receiver Kameron Thomas found junior quarterback Migel Burgess on a trick play for a 26-yard touchdown play.
Girard, however would strike back quickly and take a 35-6 lead into the half as junior running back Morgan Clardy who finished the contest with 111 yards on 10 carries put the ball in end zone on a 28-yard touchdown run.
The Leopards would find the end zone late in the third quarter as senior Justin Cizmar took the ball 78-yards on a sweep to make the score 42-12.
Cizmar led all ball carriers in the game with 116 yards on 5 carries while Burgess chipped in for Liberty with 93 yards on 19 carries.
Girard was led by Waid who tossed for 266 yards and 2 touchdowns on 14 of 28 passing while Adrian Wargo hauled in 5 of his completions for 106 yards.
With the defeat, the young Leopards finished the season 7-3 and proved to be on sturdy ground with a strong foundation heading into the 2019 season.
The Indians improved to 9-1 and will travel to the new Rayen Stadium next Saturday night to face Youngstown East in the opening round of the OHSAA D-IV State Playoffs.