By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School varsity football team got just the opening season boost it needed with a 50-7 victory on the road over Manson last Friday (Sept. 27). The win was both the first regular season and league game for the Mountain Lions following two earlier cancellations against non-league Darrington and Concrete.
Even though Liberty Bell appeared to control the game against the Trojans, coach Sy Bannick gave Manson good marks.
“The game started out very competitive,” said Bannick. “It was obvious that Manson had a little more in game experience than us.”
However, as the game progressed “they had a few injuries to key athletes that made it hard for them to continue to compete,” the coach said.
Bannick said his offensive playmakers made some big plays when they were needed. Those included touchdown runs by junior quarterback Chip Jones in both the first and second quarters and a completed pass to Chase Kurtz for another second-quarter TD.
Manson answered with a 50-yard pass play and extra point kick in the second quarter.
Senior running back Austin Watson added two back-to-back 80-plus-yard touchdown runs in the third quarter.
“Our defense held firm throughout the game,” Bannick said.
At one point in the third quarter the Mountain Lions pressured the Manson punter and forced a two-point safety.
Milo Holston stepped into the QB spot late in the third quarter and scored on a short sprint early in the fourth quarter.
A 40-yard run by senior Chase Kurtz concluded the fourth-quarter scoring.
“We also had the good fortune of an outstanding kicking game,” Bannick said, giving a nod to special teams kicker Jorge Lara.
Game time against the Bridgeport Mustangs is 7 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 4).
“Bridgeport will have some big boys and some fast running backs,” Bannick predicted. “We have to contain their speed and then play physical when the game gets played in the trenches.”
The last time the two teams met in 2011, Liberty Bell won, 27-3.
Austin Watson – 13 carries for 221 yards, 2 rushing TDs, 1 reception for 5 yards
Chip Jones – 8 carries for 17 yards, 2 rushing TDs, 6/10 passing for109 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception
Milo Holston – 8 carries for 27 yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions for 51 yards
Chase Kurtz – 2 carries for 51 yards, 1 rushing TD, 2 receptions for 53 yards, 1 receiving TD
Jorge Lara – 2 carries for 20 yards, 2 kick returns for 20 yards
Jacob McMillan – 4 carries for 17 yards
Cesar Dominguez – 21 tackles
Milo Holston – 11 tackles, 1 fumble recovery
José Dominguez – 8 tackles
Austin Watson – 7 tackles
Chase Kurtz – 6 tackles, 1 interception
Emmett Fink – 6 tackles
Jacob McMillan – 6 tackles
Jaymis Hansen – 5 tackles
Chip Jones – 4 tackles
Tyson Coleman – 3 tackles
Finley Holston – 1 interception
Jorge Lara – 1 tackle
Riley Calvert – 1 tackle
Wes Pilkinton – 2 tackles
Issac Cordes – 1 tackle
Zane Herrera – 1 tackle
Special teams stats
Jorge Lara – 7 kickoffs for 395 yards, 3 touchbacks, 3 punts for140 yards