Liberty fails to solve the riddle of Bellevue
October 29, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
Patriots are latest victim to Wolverines
There is only so much a team can do when it goes up against the juggernaut that is Bellevue High School football.
District powerhouse Skyline couldn’t find an answer for the Wolverines, enduring a 45-7 drubbing in a Sept. 7 nonconference matchup.
This time it was Liberty’s turn to take on Bellevue, and after a 38-7 Patriots defeat, the question of how to stop the Wolverines still remains a mystery.
“Bellevue is Bellevue, and they are one of the premier teams in the country,” Liberty coach Steve Valach said. “When you play them, you ask yourself, ‘How are you going to measure success,’ and I think it’s all about your fight, your effort and your finish.”
Valach said he saw plenty of fight in his team on the cool, foggy Oct. 25 night, when the school celebrated both Homecoming and senior night.
“It’s been a small senior class, but I think they’ve really taken their leadership role seriously,” Valach said. “Shoot, when they were freshman, I don’t know if we won a game, and they’ve won four games their senior year, and we’re not done yet.”
The Patriots kept pace with the Wolverines through the first quarter, showing some stout defense on Bellevue’s first possession of the game. Liberty made a critical stop, forcing the Wolverines to try for a field goal they ultimately missed.
Heading into the next quarter, Liberty was down just 7-0, but things turned ugly as Bellevue gained control, scoring 24 unanswered points in the second quarter.
Bellevue would go on to add one more score, but Liberty did not find the end zone until there were just four minutes left in the game. Senior Lorin Archibald caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nate Solly.
Senior Sam Dodt and junior Russell Boston led the Patriots on defense. Dodt posted five total tackles, while Boston had seven and an interception.
The loss comes a week after Liberty captured what Valach called the team’s “most significant win since 2010,” when they scored a come-from-behind victory on the road against Mercer Island Oct. 18.
The Patriots were down 28-20 heading into the fourth quarter, before scoring 15 unanswered points to take the 35-28 win.
Boston rushed for 208 yards and scored three touchdowns on runs of 67, 27 and 17 yards. Drew Hall and Romney Noel each added touchdowns of their own.
“We went in knowing that was a game that if we played well, and we got a few breaks, we felt that it was a game we could win,” Valach said.
After giving up points to the Islanders, the Liberty defense stepped up in the second half of the game. Defensive lineman Charles Hansen had a key sack of Mercer Island’s quarterback and junior linebacker Kacy Thomas forced a fumble that led to the game-tying score.
Liberty will head on the road to Mount Si Nov. 1 where a chance at a playoff spot is on the line. While Liberty hopes to come home with a win against the Wildcats, ranked fifth in the state, Valach said, no matter what, he has enjoyed leading the 2013 Patriots.
“I think these guys have one agenda and their agenda is team, and their motto is fight,” he said. “I love the fight in them.”
Liberty at Mount Si
- 7 p.m. Nov. 1
- Mount Si High School