The Lubbock Liberty Eagles soared onto the developmental football scene in 2017 and made a major splash in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico by winning the Rio Grande Football League in convincing fashion.
Now, they’re looking to ride that momentum into Saturday’s match-up against the Texas United Football League Champions, the DeSoto Tarantulas.
“It’s everything you asked for,” Eagles owner Brylon Bradford told Developmental Football USA. “You claim that you’re one of the best, tell everybody you want to play the best, but how often does it come to fruition? Luckily, we were blessed that they considered us for this championship series and took our league seriously and gave us the fair opportunity to get in there and play.”
The Eagles come into the match-up with an 11-1 record, while the Tarantulas are sitting at 17-1. A win would be a big statement for whichever team comes out on top, but it certainly won’t come easy.
“It would discredit any naysayers,” Bradford said. “You’ve got a lot of people that won’t involve us in talks of any kind of championships although we lined up just like everybody else. We played four quarters just like everybody else. We won a championship just like the other teams did. We might have played in a weaker league, but the WAC Champions are still champions, the Pac-12 Champions are still champions.”
The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to play the undefeated Victoria Hurricanes (14-0) in the Lone Star Minor League Football News Texas State Championship on July 22. The Hurricanes won the Crossroads Amateur Football League Championship this spring.
However, right now the Eagles have tunnel vision, with kickoff versus the Tarantulas getting closer and closer.
“I know they are very talented,” Bradford said. “I know that they got athletes and I know that they deserve this just as much as we do.
“What it’s going to take to beat this team is numbers. We’ve got to be down there full force in order to compete. I feel like our athletes match up with any athletes, not just DeSoto’s, but anybody in Texas. I don’t know what they know. I hope they’re not just going off our league, because if so, it’s going to be somewhat of a surprise.”
All season long, Bradford has preached strength in numbers, as Lubbock Liberty’s depth helped them outlast the RGFL’s top teams on their way to the championship. This weekend, the Eagles will need to travel well to knock off the Tarantulas.
“That’s one of our strongest suits, is that we have numbers for days,” Bradford said. “We never went to any of our games with our full 65-man roster. We always topped out at around 45 and we should be around that number this time as well. Not full force, but pretty dang close.”
Saturday’s battle of champions is also paired with the Minor Professional Football League All-Star Game as a doubleheader.