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LU to Play Football Opener at City Stadium

August 5, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Former Liberty great and NFL player Eric Green was the last Flame to catch a pass at City Stadium. He finished the game on Oct. 7, 1989, against No. 19 Eastern Illinois with seven receptions for 136 yards.

Former Liberty great and NFL player Eric Green was the last Flame to catch a pass at City Stadium. He finished the game on Oct. 7, 1989, against No. 19 Eastern Illinois with seven receptions for 136 yards.

Liberty University Director of Athletics Jeff Barber has announced that Liberty will play its 2010 football season opening game on Sept. 4 against St. Francis, Pa., at Lynchburg's historic City Stadium.

Further details about the game, including season and single game ticketing information, game start time, Flames Club events and parking, will be available by Monday.

"Despite a tremendous effort by Branch & Associates, Inc., Liberty Construction and Planning, our architects and others, it has become clear to Chancellor Falwell and myself that it will be necessary to move our 2010 season opener against St. Francis to City Stadium," stated Barber.

"All parties involved have worked extremely hard to make up from the time lost from the record-breaking snowfalls we received during the winter months," added Barber. "Unfortunately, this was the most critical time of the project and was difficult to overcome.

"In addition, as we moved through the building process, changes to the original designs were made to the tower that will have wonderful long-term benefits to our University.

"Examples of these changes include, an upscale student dining facility that will be available on the club level and conference rooms on the top floor of the tower. The dining area will create a 700-seat banquet facility, the largest in Region 2000. The conference rooms will showcase our campus with unparalleled views of the Blue Ridge Mountains."

Lynchburg's historic City Stadium was the first home for the Flames football team, starting with five home games during the first year of the program in 1973. During 17 years of play at the natural grass facility, Liberty posted a 43-35-1 record, including eight winning seasons.

Liberty's most successful seasons at City Stadium were in 1979 (5-0) and 1980 (6-1), when the Flames won 11 out of 12 home games. During the two-year span, the upstart program posted two of its more significant overall seasons, including a 9-1-1 mark in 1979.

Liberty won its last five games at City Stadium, closing out its 17-year run at the facility with a 9-7 victory over No. 19 Eastern Illinois on Oct. 7, 1989, under legendary head coach Sam Rutigliano.

The Flames played their first on-campus home game on Oct. 21, 1989, against Towson State, opening Williams Stadium with a 37-18 homecoming victory before a crowd of 12,750 fans.

Some of the most notable performances in Flames football history took place on the historic grounds of Lynchburg's City Stadium.

Chip Smith, a 2010 Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, blazed across the natural playing surface and recorded nine of his 15 career 100-yard games at City Stadium. His final career game was played at City Stadium, where he rushed for 238 yards against Ferrum to close out the 1976 season on Nov. 13.

A pair of Liberty's all-time great quarterbacks were the Flames signal callers inside the historic facility.

Phil Basso was Liberty's first standout quarterback, who played his entire home career (1981-84) at City Stadium. He currently ranks fifth on Liberty's all-time passing charts with 5,410 career yards.

Paul Johnson was the Liberty hurler to close out the Flames stay at City Stadium (1985-89). The No. 2 all-time passing quarterback in program history threw for 7,397 during Liberty's final days at the facility.

Kelvin Edwards, a 2009 Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame class member, made a name for himself at City Stadium. The 1985 Associated Press Little All-America first-team selection became the program's all-time career receiving leader (2,546 yards) during his four-year career (1982-85).

Upon graduating from Liberty, Edwards became Liberty's second-highest NFL draft pick, when he was selected in the fourth round of the 1986 draft by the New Orleans Saints. His three-year professional football career was spotlighted when he was a starting wide-out for the Dallas Cowboys.