Liberty High School Patriots pound Sammamish Totems

October 9, 2012

By Christina Corrales-Toy

Scott Dean (right), Liberty High School senior defensive back, picks up a block from teammate Max Hill on Sammamish junior quarterback Allen Terrence, who threw the interception to Dean for his 65-yard touchdown as time expired at the half. By Greg Farrar

Coming off of two straight losses and with an injury list that grew longer by the minute, nothing had been easy for the Liberty High School football team.

Still, the Patriots continued to persevere and put in the work during practice, Liberty coach Steve Valach said.

On Oct. 5, the hard work paid off as a determined Liberty team knocked off Sammamish, 50-7, to bring their record to an even 3-3.

The Patriots had the game in hand by the end of the first quarter, when Liberty put up 36 points behind a strong rushing attack.

Tynan Gilmore put Liberty on the board first with a 26-yard rushing touchdown. On Liberty’s next possession, he did it again with a 22-yard score.

Sophomore Russell Boston rushed for two touchdowns and quarterback Kasper Lui Delange, who rarely had to throw the ball thanks to Liberty’s successful running game, rushed for another.

Liberty would go on to add yet another score, when Scott Dean ran for a 93-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

The Liberty running backs were finding holes all night after strong play by their offensive line, anchored by sophomore center Nate Jarvis.

“We just kept pushing,” Jarvis said. “If we keep pushing, the backs can get through the hole and score touchdowns, and that’s what we did all night.”

The Patriot defense played lights out, forcing four three-and-outs in the first half alone. Dean also returned an interception for a 65-yard score.

“We knew coming in that our defense would have to make plays and that’s what we did,” he said.

It was a memorable victory, he added, especially because of the injuries the team has had to deal with.

“We had a lot of guys get hurt in the last couple of weeks,” he said. “Everyone has been working hard. Obviously, we’ve had a lot of adversity, so it’s really nice to know that the work is paying off.”

Liberty faces tough tests in the team’s next three games when they take on Mercer Island and two of the best teams in the state in Bellevue and Mount Si.

But the team hopes it can build off of the momentum from the Sammamish game as it heads into the last weeks of the season, senior defensive end Joey Smith said.

“It’s going to hopefully help us put together more stuff next week and the coming weeks,” he said. “We’re going to come back on Monday, practice hard and just prepare the best we can for the upcoming weeks.”

Liberty came into the game with a bit of a heavy heart, after longtime announcer Dan Braillard passed away Oct. 1. Before the game, Liberty celebrated Braillard in a ceremony and renamed the announcer’s booth in his honor.

“I thought it was a great way to honor him,” Valach said. “Sometimes, you do it right and with something like that, you don’t get a lot of chances to redo it, but it was a great way to honor to such a great man.”

Next up, it’s homecoming for the Patriots when they host Mercer Island on Oct. 12.

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