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Players from BYU and Liberty gather together in prayer following the game played on Nov. 9. (Addie Blacker)

BYU football joined the Liberty Flames in taking a knee for a prayer after beating them 31-24.

The teams were shaking hands in the middle of the field after the game on Nov. 9 when Liberty started preparing to take a knee.

“We felt like it was going to be good for us to share in that moment. They invited us to have a word of prayer with them and I thought it was a pretty cool moment,” BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake said.

Liberty is an evangelical Christian university and, like BYU, it is not part of a conference. Sitake said he was impressed with the team, both by how well they played and by how well they treated BYU, and that the prayer was a great way to finish that game.

“It was nice to share the field and have a word of prayer in the middle of the field with them. I thought that was something really special, having two schools that are based on Christian values and everything,” Sitake said.  

This was the first time the two independent schools have played each other in football, and the Flames showed a surprising amount of sportsmanship, according to defensive back Austin Lee.

“It threw me off from surprise, you know — you usually don’t do that,” Lee said.

Despite the tough competition, neither team was antagonistic towards the other, and Lee said that he appreciated the way the game was played.

“I thought it was very cool. It shows a lot about their character and their team and their standards,” Lee said.

Sitake agreed and said that Liberty’s fans should be proud of the way that their team played in this unique game between two Christian teams.

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