Liberty fails to solve the riddle of Bellevue

October 29, 2013

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.

By Gary Babcock  Liberty senior Lorin Archibald catches a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nate Solly in the Patriots’ 38-7 loss to Bellevue Oct. 25.

By Gary Babcock
Liberty senior Lorin Archibald catches a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nate Solly in the Patriots’ 38-7 loss to Bellevue Oct. 25.

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.

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Skyline uses run game, defense to stop Eastlake

September 24, 2013

The Skyline High School Spartans have traditionally featured a pass-happy, wide-open offense, but last week they showed they can also play bruising, run-between-the-tackles football.

Skyline amassed 286 rushing yards, including 151 from sophomore running back Rashaad Boddie, and played stellar defense to earn a 21-6 victory against the rival Eastlake Wolves on Sept. 20 at Spartan Stadium.

A dominant first half proved to be enough for Skyline (2-1), which didn’t score in the second half after Boddie was sidelined with an ankle injury.

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Issaquah loses 51-26 to O’Dea

September 24, 2013

The third time proved not to be a charm for the Eagles. The Issaquah High School football team played its third-straight 3A team Sept. 20 against O’Dea.

MaxPreps Freeman Rankings for Washington had Issaquah still at 24, despite a 1-1 start. However, it was the lower-ranked, visiting Fighting Irish (38) that pulled off the upset, 51-26.

The two teams were all square at 14 after one quarter. The Eagles scored a pair of touchdowns with the usual suspects — Derek Chapman scored on a 38-yard pass from Jack Neary and Jack Gellatly rambled in from eight yards out.

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Wildcats scratch out win against Eagles

September 17, 2013

Issaquah and Mount Si high schools may not compete in the same league any more. But that hasn’t diminished the intensity of the rivalry that has built between the two perennial powerhouses.

The Eagles’ stadium was standing room only when the team hosted the Wildcats Sept. 12. Both squads delivered a contest worthy of a rivalry. The nonleague game’s outcome was in question until the final minutes, when No. 5 ranked Class 3A Mount Si held on to its come-from-behind victory against 4A Issaquah, 28-20.

By Darryn Dieken Issaquah High School’s Derek Chapman passes jubilant teammates on the sideline with his third-quarter kickoff return for a 92-yard touchdown Sept. 13 against Mount Si.

By Darryn Dieken
Issaquah High School’s Derek Chapman passes jubilant teammates on the sideline with his third-quarter kickoff return for a 92-yard touchdown Sept. 13 against Mount Si.

Mount Si head coach Charlie Kinnune said the Wildcats have been a team “in search of an identity.”

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Thundering Eagles

September 10, 2013

Jack Gellatly leads Issaquah attack with four touchdowns

By Darryn Dieken Jack Gellatly, Issaquah High School running back, scampers through a large hole in the Interlake line for a large gain. Gellatly scored four touchdowns in the Eagles’ 44-3 victory against the Saints.

By Darryn Dieken
Jack Gellatly, Issaquah High School running back, scampers through a large hole in the Interlake line for a large gain. Gellatly scored four touchdowns in the Eagles’ 44-3 victory against the Saints.

On Sept. 5, Mother Nature reminded the region she’s still a force to be reckoned with, displaying quite the impressive thunder and lightning show.

The following night, Issaquah High School put the region on notice it, too, will be a force of nature in KingCo this season. The Eagles stormed into host Interlake High School’s field and ran away with a 44-3 win in a nonleague matchup.

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Bellevue hammers Skyline in matchup of defending champs

September 10, 2013

In a battle of high-school football programs with 18 state championships between them, it was the Bellevue High School Wolverines who looked much more comfortable in a big-game environment.

Bellevue High School, winners of the last five Class 3A titles, forced three turnovers and ran up 418 yards of offense, leading to a 45-7 victory over two-time defending 4A champion Skyline on Sept. 7 at Husky Stadium in Seattle.

By Greg Farrar Chandler Wong (34), Skyline High School junior linebacker, sacks Bellevue senior quarterback Timmy Haehl for a 2-yard loss in the first quarter, helping stifle the Wolverines’ first possession of the game.

By Greg Farrar
Chandler Wong (34), Skyline High School junior linebacker, sacks Bellevue senior quarterback Timmy Haehl for a 2-yard loss in the first quarter, helping stifle the Wolverines’ first possession of the game.

The Wolverines took control early on both sides of the ball, using their size and speed to overwhelm the Spartans at the line of scrimmage. At halftime, Bellevue led 35-0 and had three scoring plays of 40 yards or more.

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Eastside Catholic douses Patriots, 62-9

September 10, 2013

As the clocked ticked to zero, and the scoreboard showed an ugly 62-9 loss for the home team, something beautiful was going on in the stands at Liberty High School on Sept. 6.

Despite just witnessing their beloved Patriots sustain a blowout at the hands of a talented Eastside Catholic squad, the still-full Liberty student section cheered louder than ever as the team approached the stands to thank their fans after the game.

By Greg Farrar Lorin Archibald, Liberty High School senior wide receiver, pulls in a 16-yard pass for a second-quarter touchdown Sept. 6 against Eastside Catholic junior defensive back Austin Moss.

By Greg Farrar
Lorin Archibald, Liberty High School senior wide receiver, pulls in a 16-yard pass for a second-quarter touchdown Sept. 6 against Eastside Catholic junior defensive back Austin Moss.

“We’ve got some great fans,” Liberty tight end Lorin Archibald said after the loss.

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Eagles hope big offseason translates on the field

September 3, 2013

Jack Neary, Issaquah High School senior quarterback, throws a series of passes to his receivers during a drill Aug. 21 at team practice. By Greg Farrar

Jack Neary, Issaquah High School senior quarterback, throws a series of passes to his receivers during a drill Aug. 21 at team practice. By Greg Farrar

It’s never a guarantee that offseason success will translate to the gridiron come fall, but as summers go, the Issaquah High School football team had a pretty stellar one.

In June, the Eagles won the University of Washington 7-on-7 passing tournament, defeating Skyline on their way to the top, and finished second in a separate 7-on-7 event.

“It’s really helpful work,” Issaquah coach Chris Bennett said. “You do well in those things when you have good quarterback play and solid receivers.”

The 2013 Eagles possess one of the best receiving corps he’s had, Bennett said, led by Jeff Shipley, speedster Derek Chapman and Tommy Nelson, who received MVP honors at the UW passing tournament.

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Spartans seek a third straight title

September 3, 2013

Rashaad Boddie carries the ball for Skyline High School during practice. The sophomore running back transferred over the summer to Skyline from Clayton, N.C. By Jim Nicholson

Rashaad Boddie carries the ball for Skyline High School during practice. The sophomore running back transferred over the summer to Skyline from Clayton, N.C. By Jim Nicholson

Rain fell in sheets. A nearby lightning strike temporarily knocked out power in the locker room. The team photo was cancelled.

In other words, it wasn’t a pretty picture at Skyline High School’s annual Green vs. White scrimmage Aug. 29.

It wasn’t all bad. Before the weather ended the scrimmage prematurely, the Spartans showed flashes of brilliance they hope will translate to the Sept. 7 season opener against Bellevue.

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Patriots eye rekindled tradition

September 3, 2013

Marquel Ellis (right), Liberty High School sophomore linebacker and running back, listens to coach Steve Valach set up a play. By Greg Farrar

Marquel Ellis (right), Liberty High School sophomore linebacker and running back, listens to coach Steve Valach set up a play. By Greg Farrar

No one was unluckier than the Liberty High School football team last year. An already thin-in-numbers squad was hit with injury after injury in 2012.

As the injuries piled up, so too did the losses in a tough KingCo 3A/2A Conference, on the way to a 3-7 record.

Luckily, things are already looking up for the Patriots as they prepare for the 2013 campaign with a much larger turnout than last year, which should help with depth, longtime Liberty coach Steve Valach said.

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