At midseason, Patriots hold even
October 4, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
The Liberty High School football team is holding steady with a 2-2 record at the season’s midpoint, posting two convincing wins, but two blowout losses.
The Patriots began their season against Eastside Catholic Sept. 6, the team that lost to Bellevue in the 3A state championship game last year.
It was an ugly 62-9 loss for the overmatched Liberty squad, but from it emerged a proud, faithful student section that’s been a steady presence in all four games this season.
Liberty students stayed even after the Crusaders put 21 points on the board in the first quarter alone. They continued to cheer as the Patriots went into halftime, down 49-6. It was not the start they hoped to see from their team, but they showed their support nonetheless.
“We’ve got some great fans,” Liberty tight end Lorin Archibald said after the loss.
Sophomore Nate Solly earned the start at quarterback, throwing for more than 100 yards against a dominant Eastside Catholic defense. He completed a 16-yard pass to Patriots baseball star Archibald for the team’s only touchdown of the night.
The Patriots earned their first win of the season against rival Hazen Sept. 13, soundly defeating the Highlanders, 28-7.
Liberty scored a touchdown in every quarter, the first of which involved a bit of trickery to set up Drew Hall’s 1-yard touchdown run. 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.
Kasper Lui Delange rushed for two touchdowns in the game, while Sam Dodt rushed for another. Dodt also had an interception on defense.
The victory was the beginning of an eight-quarter stretch in which the Liberty defense allowed only one touchdown.
Liberty scored its second-consecutive win of the season with a 27-0 shutout of Interlake Sept. 20.
Running back Hall put the Patriots on the board with a 28-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
Hall would go on to add another score in the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown. Boston also ran one in from the 5-yard line, and Solly completed a touchdown pass to Archibald in what was a 21-point second quarter for the Patriots.
Hall also led the defense in tackles for both the Hazen and Interlake games, posting 7 and 7 1/2 respectively.
Junior running back Boston put together his most complete performance of the season in the team’s 55-21 loss to Juanita Sept. 27.
Boston rushed for 189 yards on 12 carries, scoring all three of Liberty’s touchdowns.
“The offensive line was just opening gaps,” Boston said. “We had schemed that all week. If I just hit it hard and fast, I could take care of the rest after that.”
Liberty kept it close through the first quarter, but the talented Juanita squad took control in the second, and didn’t look back.
It won’t get much easier for Liberty, since the Patriots have yet to face conference foes Bellevue and Mount Si, considered among the top teams in the state.
Liberty coach Steve Valach said he’s happy with the experience his guys are getting, even if it isn’t necessarily translating to wins, but the Patriots will need to play with a bit more confidence as the season progresses.
“I love our team. I really love our guys,” he said. “As they say, experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want. We’re gaining experience, and the only way to get experience is by playing.”