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More Than Rivalry at Stake in Today's Game

Winner of this afternoon's game between Freedom and Liberty clinches a playoff berth.

The yearly gridiron meeting between cross-town rivals Freedom and Liberty is always something special.

But this year, the annual regular season finale – which will be played at 1 p.m. this afternoon at the Bethlehem Area School District Stadium – has much more at stake than Christmas City bragging rights.

As reported in preview stories in both The Morning Call and The Express-Times, the winner of today’s game gains a berth in the PIAA AAAA playoffs. The losing team will likely be relegated to the Eastern Conference playoffs.

It is a bit more personal for rival team quarterbacks, Freedom junior Brian Uliana and Liberty senior Jim McCarthy who were Legion baseball teammates this past summer and have been good friends since they were both about 8 years old, according to this story in The Express-Times.

This will be the 44th meeting of the two schools. has won 29 of the 43 previous meetings. hasn’t won the matchup since 2002, but they come into this year’s game with the better record.

The Patriots, 7-2, got off to their best-ever start, winning their first six games before losing back-to-back tilts to Nazareth and Easton. Last week, the Patriots shut out 42-0.

The Hurricanes got off to a slower 2-2 start before reeling off four straight wins. That streak was halted last week in Easton in a 21-14 loss.

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