University of North Texas

Willis, Douglas Propel Liberty Past North Texas 35-26

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Malik Willis threw three touchdown passes and Demario Douglas returned a punt 72 yards for the go-ahead score as Liberty scored the final 21 points to upend North Texas 35-26 in nonconference play on Saturday.

Liberty (6-2), playing as an independent, trailed 20-7 after Aaron Beckham’s 27-yard field goal for the Mean Green with 1:51 left in the first half. But backup quarterback Johnathan Bennett fired a 39-yard scoring strike to CJ Daniels to pull the Flames within six at intermission.

North Texas (1-6) stretched its lead to 26-14 on Austin Aune’s 6-yard TD toss to Jason Pirtle with 7:27 remaining in the third quarter, but Aune’s 2-point pass attempt failed and it was all downhill for the Mean Green from there. Willis connected with Daniels for a 20-yard TD to cut the Flames’ deficit to 26-21. Liberty’s defense forced a three-and-out and Douglas delivered his go-ahead TD with 3:03 remaining in the third quarter. Willis capped the scoring with a 37-yard TD strike to Shedro Louis early in the fourth.

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