By Don Nelson
The Liberty Bell High School football team broke open some big plays against Lake Roosevelt last Friday, but couldn’t string enough of them together to reach the end zone in a 44-0 loss to the visiting Raiders.
Enrique Whites, Seth Stevie and Eden Davis, along with quarterback Tanner White, ground out some tough yardage in the running game. But the Mountain Lions were not able to sustain a drive.
Lake Roosevelt relied on big plays to take a 31-0 halftime lead. Liberty Bell’s defense stiffened in the final two quarters.
After the Mountain Lions went three-and-out in their first series of the game, the Raiders drove to reach fourth and goal at the Liberty Bell 10-yard line, but a penalty dropped them back to the 25. Liberty Bell stopped Lake Roosevelt on downs and took over.
White connected with Brady Moriarty for a 20-yard pass completion, but Liberty Bell was stymied by a holding penalty and had to give up the ball. With three minutes left in the first quarter, Raiders quarterback Steven Flowers scored on a keeper from the 2-yard line, making the score 6-0.
A few minutes later, Lake Roosevelt appeared to score on a long punt return, which was called back because of a blocking penalty. That only slowed the Raiders momentarily, as Flowers dodged 28 yards on a keeper for another touchdown with 39 seconds left in the first quarter. White intercepted a two-point conversion attempt.
The next strike was just as quick. Liberty Bell lost a fumble to Lake Roosevelt at the Mountain Lions’ 30-yard line, and on the next play Flowers found Tyrell Kiser for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 11 minutes left in the half.
After the Raiders took over on downs, they advanced to the Liberty Bell 4-yard line, where Tony Nichols took it in for Lake Roosevelt’s fourth score and a 24-0 lead.
Stevie’s long kickoff return to the Lake Roosevelt 44-yard line got the home crowd on its feet. Then the Raiders intercepted a Liberty Bell pass and appeared to score on a 79-yard “pick six” return. Once again, a penalty negated the play and brought it back. The Raiders marched down the field to score on a 16-yard touchdown pass with 46 seconds left, and made their first extra point of the night for a 31-0 lead.
After the break, Liberty Bell moved the ball into Lake Roosevelt territory, advancing to the 27-yard line before the Raiders picked off another Mountain Lion pass, this one at the goal line. Lake Roosevelt followed up with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Flowers to Josiah DeSautel with about 10 minutes left in the third quarter. A few minutes later, DeSautel scored on a 49-yard run and the extra point made the score 44-0, where it stayed for the remainder of the game.
The Mountain Lions travel to Soap Lake (1-2) on Friday (Sept. 23), then host Bridgeport (0-3) on Sept. 30.