With the game on the line, Darrell Daniels came up big for the Freedom High football team time and time again.

The go-ahead touchdown was just one of his late-game highlights as the Falcons beat host Deer Valley 21-14 on Friday to create a four-way tie for first place in the Bay Valley Athletic League.

After putting the Falcons (7-1, 2-1 BVAL) up for good on that 4-yard run with 6 minutes, 2 seconds left, Daniels then keyed two big defensive stops. He helped stop the Wolverines (4-4, 2-1) on a running play on fourth down with just over four minutes to go, then intercepted Deer Valley quarterback Nsimba Webster in the final minute to seal the win.

"We've been working towards this game all year, we talk about finishing and finishing," Freedom coach Kevin Hartwig said. "We finished in the fourth quarter, and that was great. Darrell and everyone stepped up and made some big plays."

Daniels also scored on a 3-yard pass from quarterback Dante Mayes on the Falcons' first drive of the game.

The Falcons' final score was set up when Deer Valley fumbled a punt and Adrian Perez recovered it on the Wolverines' 15-yard line. Daniels scored three plays later.

Freedom led 14-7 at halftime despite some mistakes of its own. The Falcons twice turned the ball over deep in their own territory, though Deer Valley converted only once.

Joe Mixon rushed for 99 yards and had an interception on defense for the Falcons.


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The Wolverines' Shane Pooler rushed for 117 of his game-high 127 yards in the second half. Webster and Lee Ward III scored Deer Valley's touchdowns.

After three weeks of BVAL play, there are no undefeated teams remaining. Freedom, Deer Valley, Pittsburg and Heritage are all 2-1 after the Pirates also beat the previously undefeated Patriots on Friday.