TEXARKANA — Decorian Phillips threw for 378 yards and six touchdowns to help Liberty-Eylau climb into the driver’s seat of District 7-4A Division I.

The Leopards finished with 530 yards of total offense, Phillips accounted for seven TDs and they handed Princeton its first loss in district play with a 55-44 victory Friday at Harris Field.

Phillips was 26-of-42 passing and rushed for 63 yards and a short TD. He connected with Isaiah Cross for four TDs, covering 12, 18, 23 and 8 yards.

Cross finished with eight catches for 166 yards, Mahleik Darty added eight for 122 yards and TD, and Dazawion Cooper also had a juggling catch on an 11-yard strike from Phillips, who was under heavy pressure on the play.

Ralph Crabtree set up Kelston Joseph’s 2-yard scoring run with a 47-yard gallop following the second interception by the Leopards. Phillips was picked off to start the third quarter, but Deshun Dickerson came back on the next play and intercepted a pass.

In the fourth quarter, Michael Conley’s interception at midfield led to Crabtree’s long run and the Joseph score, making it 55-37 with 6:11 left.

Crabtree rushed for 83 yards on 12 carries for Liberty-Eylau.

Brendon Strickland threw for five touchdowns and also ran for one for the Panthers. Strickland connected with Tristan Gee on three second-half scores covering 18, 8 and 38 yards. Gee finished with six catches, three scores and 106 yards, and he also tossed a TD to Philip Mayfield, who had eight grabs for 96 yards and a pair of TDs.

Strickland also ran for a score during a 14-0 Princeton third quarter to cut its deficit to 41-30 entering the fourth quarter. The teams traded touchdowns twice in the fourth.

Phillips threw for 300 yards and five touchdowns in the first half, helping lift the Leopards to a 41-17 lead at halftime.

The senior L-E signal-caller tossed a trio of TDs to Cross, who had seven receptions for 155 yards in the first half. Phillips also threw his scores to Darty and Cooper before intermission.

It was the second time in as many weeks the Leopards knocked off an unbeaten in district play. Liberty-Eylau plays at Quinlan Ford next Friday to wrap up the regular season.

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