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Liberty holds off late New Mexico rally in 52-43 win

Liberty FootballLiberty scored a season-best 42 points during the first half and fended off a late rally attempt from New Mexico to secure a 52-43 win at Dreamstyle Stadium.

The win marks Liberty’s first-ever road victory as an FBS program, thanks in part to several record-breaking performances by the Flames.

Wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden finished the contest with a school-record 245 receiving yards. He set the record on a 50-yard reception from Stephen Calvert during the fourth quarter to squelch the Lobos’ last attempt for a comeback.

The two teams combined for 1,148 yards, with New Mexico outgaining Liberty, 580 to 568. A majority of Liberty’s yardage came via its passing game, as the Flames set a school-record with 472 passing yards to surpass the previous mark of 455 against Towson State in 1991.

The Flames scored 42 points during the first half, marking the fourth time Liberty has scored 40 or more points in the first half under Flames’ Head Coach Turner Gill.

However, Liberty still needed some key second-half plays to secure the road victory. After the Lobos scored on three out of four drives, Liberty responded by piecing together a five-play, 75-yard drive to push its lead back to 20 points with 12:26 left to play in the game.

New Mexico made one last push and trimmed the lead to six points, but a 50-yard pass play by Calvert to Gandy-Golden put Liberty into scoring position for one last time where Liberty put the game out of reach with a 22-yard field goal with 62 seconds left to play.