Liberty, which had enjoyed displaying the Bell trophy on campus for the last three years, claimed an early 7-0 lead when senior Eric Kulling scored on a 4-yard touchdown run.
The Falcons (7-3, 4-2) answered back in the second quarter when quarterback Diondre Borel led Freedom on a 60-yard scoring drive culminating in a 6-yard touchdown strike to tight end Rick Oliver. Less than three minutes later Borel was back in the act, this time hitting receiver Roman Runner on a 27-yard touchdown pass to reclaim the lead, 14-7.
The Lions continued to claw, answering back with a 60-yard scoring drive of their own. Liberty pounded the ball right into the teeth of the Falcons' defense, running the ball eight consecutive times on their way into the end zone. Senior running back Martin Tate finished the drive off with a 5-yard touchdown run, pulling the two teams even once again, 14-14.
Borel simply took the game into his own hands to close the half, driving the Falcons 80 yards in less than two minutes for the go-ahead score, a 12-yard touchdown run to cap the drive with just 40 seconds remaining in the half, giving Freedom a 21-14 halftime lead.
Senior quarterback Keith McDaniels began and ended the Lions' first drive of the fourth quarter with one spectacular play, a 72-yard touchdown bomb to Kulling, who sprinted down the left sideline for the score, pulling Liberty back within striking distance, 28-21.
However, Falcon senior Daniel Johansen made a pair of big plays in the fourth quarter, effectively sealing the deal for Freedom - first plowing into the end zone with 8:07 left to play, and then forcing and recovering a fumble by Lion running back Alonzo Winn on the Freedom 19-yard line on Liberty's ensuing possession.
Freedom quickly capitalized on the turnover, as Borel once again found the end zone, this time on a 10-yard run, extending the Falcons' lead to 42-21 and putting the game out of reach for the Lions.
Liberty added one more score with 1:40 left to play when McDaniels connected with Kavi Sidhu on a 9-yard touchdown pass. But by that time the fat lady'd already sung, showered, dressed and headed for the parking lot.
McDaniels, who has been asked to shoulder a tremendous amount of the burden on offense after injuries decimated the Lions' backfield early this season, played his best game of the season, completing 19 of 25 passing attempts for 349 yards and a pair of touchdown passes.
"It sucks to see the season end like this. Almost every senior out here's in tears," an emotional McDaniels said after the game. "We gave (Freedom) a fight, but they have one hell of a quarterback. It's tough not to be mad about the season we had, but I'm trying to put it behind me. We had a lot of fun on this team, though, and we're all real close."