Liberty visits Sunrise Mountain in rivalry matchup

liberty vs sunrise mountain

The Liberty Lions and the Sunrise Mountain Mustangs are matching up in a rivalry game in our Arizona high school football featured GameTime matchup this week – Friday, Sept. 17 at 7:00 pm MT/9:00 pm CT.

How To Watch 

Watch it on YurView Arizona – Cox channel 4 in Phoenix and channel 7 in Tucson. Cox customers can also watch the games on their phones using the Cox Contour App. Download the Coutour App on Apple and Android.

Live streams and replays of all games will be available to rent or purchase at watch.yurview.com.

Watch it now: 40 Years of Arizona High School Football

Game Preview

Sunrise Mountain has won three of the past five games against Liberty including a close game last year. Liberty was up 14-0 after one quarter before Sunrise Mountain made it’s move. 

The Mustangs went on to win the 5A State Title, the schools first in football,  against Ironwood 42-20.

Heading in to this week, Sunrise Mountain is coming off a tough loss to Horizon, who have been, perhaps, the biggest surprise of the season so far, starting off 2-0.

The Mustangs trailed only 17-15 as the end of the fourth quarter neared but gave up a 60-yard touchdown run by Horizon quarterback Skyler Partridge that clinched the game for the Huskies.

Liberty has gotten off to a hot start this year even though they graduated 28 seniors from last year.  

In their first two games the Lions have outscored opponents 116 to 33.

Liberty is hoping to have another successful season that leads them to the Open Division playoffs again.

Last year, they came up just short against top-ranked Chandler in the Open Division Semis 35-34.

“We were down 28-7 in that game and our guys never flinched,” Liberty head coach Colin Thomas said. “I think we truly believe that we’re never out of a game. We had a chance at the end, but it didn’t work out our way. Our kids no matter who we play expect to win.”

Arizona GameTime Schedule

Jr. DE My’Keil Gardner, 6’2” 285 – Liberty

Gardner missed last season due to a knee injury he sustained in the preseason. This season, two games in,   Gardner is making up for lost time.

“My’Keil played with us in freshman football and we knew right away this was going to be a really terrific football player,” Liberty head coach Colin Thomas said. “He wasn’t able to play his sophomore year, but we still knew what we had with him.”

Gardner has 15 total tackles on the year including 4.5 tackles for loss.

University of Arizona offered Gardner on the spot after their camp earlier this year. He also has an offer from NAU.

Sr. QB Hunter Kronengold, 6’3” 175 – Sunrise Mountain

Kronengold transferred to Sunrise Mountain from Saguaro last season so he had to sit out the first four games of the year.

“He’s a little more comfortable this year,” Sunrise Mountain head coach Steve Decker said. “He’s a little more vocal this year. He’s not a ra-ra guy, he just leads by example.”

Last week Kronengold had 236 passing yards and two touchdowns.

He has some Division II and NAIA interest.

Sr. S Jax Stam, 6’0” 195 – Liberty

Stam is rated as the number four safety in the state of Arizona.

The senior is a three-year starter for the Lions. He’s been on Varsity since he was a freshman and has been captain the last two years.

“He’s a coach on the field for us,” Thomas said. “He is as good of a leader as we’ve ever had here. He’s a one-of-a-kind kid.”

Last week at Boulder Creek, Stam had nine tackles, eight tackles for loss.

Stam has offers from Army, Penn, Georgetown, New Mexico and preferred walk-on from the University of Arizona.

Sr. LB Darnell Stephens, 6’1” 205 – Sunrise Mountain

Stephens is one of two returners on the Mustangs defense this season.

“He’s setting the tone with leading those (linebackers),” Decker said. “Being that middle backer guy that’s got that experience and then just stepping up, he’s been a vocal leader.”

Last week against Horizon, Stephens had six tackles. In game one of the season against Cienega, he forced a fumble, had two sacks and totaled five tackles.

Stephens has an offer from NAU.

The Sunrise Mountain Mustangs  (1-1) take on the Liberty Lions (2-0) in our GameTime Arizona featured Arizona high school football matchup – Friday, Sept. 17  at 7:00 pm MT/9:00 pm CT.