Liberty outlasts Hazen in Sept. 13 showdown
September 17, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
For the second straight year, it was the Liberty student section’s right to chant “We run Renton,” when the Patriots defeated the Highlanders, 28-7.
The neighboring East Renton Highlands schools, both featuring students from Newcastle, met on the gridiron at Renton Memorial Stadium Sept. 13.
Liberty came away with a decisive victory, scoring a touchdown in every quarter. It was a far cry from last year’s matchup, when the Patriots won by a mere three points.
“Everybody played phenomenally tonight,” Liberty cornerback Colin Larson said. “Nobody gave up.”
The Patriots got on the board first, using a bit of trickery to set up Drew Hall’s 1-yard touchdown run. Liberty quarterback Nate Solly completed a pass to receiver Austin Sivret, who immediately pitched it to Russell Boston before the junior running back was tackled just short of the goal line.
Hall punched it into the end zone on the very next play, giving Liberty a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Hazen appeared to answer with a score of their own in the second quarter, when the Highlanders faked a punt and Marquise Lee ran it for a 56-yard touchdown, but the play was erased by a penalty.
It would be one of two Hazen touchdowns called back due to penalties, something that the Highlanders will have to clean up, said coach Drew Oliver.
“We had some execution problems throughout the game,” he said. “Too many penalties cost us situations. We haven’t shown our best football yet.”
On the web
View a photo gallery from the game at http://on.fb.me/1aIPPEP.
The fourth-and-long situation that forced the fake punt was caused by a big third down quarterback sack by Liberty defensive end Lorin Archibald.
Liberty took a 14-0 lead into halftime, after senior Kasper Lui Delange scored his first of two rushing touchdowns in the second quarter.
“Last week I was kind of in a funk, and this week I really stepped it up and made some decisions,” Lui Delange said. “I haven’t scored in a long time and it felt good to get in the end zone.”
After receiving to start the second half, the Highlanders began to drive before fumbling the ball to the Patriots. It set up Liberty’s third scoring drive, capped off by a Sam Dodt 1-yard touchdown run.
Later in the third quarter, the teams shared a pair of interceptions. Hazen’s Parker Trewet intercepted Liberty’s Solly, but just a few plays later, the Patriots’ Dodt intercepted a Nolan Hoover pass.
“We watched film and we saw that they take a lot of deep balls,” Dodt said. “We knew they were going to be throwing over the top and we had to stay on top. It was really just the pass rush that made the quarterback throw a ball that he shouldn’t have thrown.”
Hazen’s offense picked up the pace in the fourth quarter, moving to an up-tempo offense that resulted in the team’s first score. Lee ran it into the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown.
It was a solid night for the Hazen junior who led the team in rushing with 96 yards, and tackles, with 9 ½.
“He’s a fierce competitor,” Oliver said of Lee. “It doesn’t matter where we put him on the field, he loves football and he loves being out there. He seems to show up in the right spot at the right time. He’s got some great natural instincts for playing this game.”
Liberty would tack on one more score, a 20-yard touchdown run by Lui Delange, before the game ended.
The chants of “We run Renton,” emanating from a packed Liberty student section, began toward the end of the fourth quarter, and it was heard loud and clear on the Patriot sideline.
“I’ve never seen a better fan base in my entire time in high school and that really just keeps us energized,” Larson said. “Tonight was amazing. It was awesome. Football is back.”
Players from both teams know each other well, after playing together in the Five Star youth football organization, which always adds a little more incentive to the matchup, Boston said.
“We all know that bragging rights are tied to this game,” he said.
Up next both Hazen and Liberty will begin league play on Sept. 20. Liberty travels to Interlake at 7 p.m., and Hazen hosts Highline at 7 p.m.