By Don Nelson
Liberty Bell High School’s rematch with Yakama Nation in the Mountain Lions’ homecoming football game on Friday (Oct. 23) started and ended pretty much like the previous game against the Eagles.
The Mountain Lions scored all their points in the first half to prevail, 52-26, over the visiting team on Friday and hike their record to 6-1 for the season. A week earlier, Liberty Bell rang up a 70-48 win at Yakama Nation.
Liberty Bell wasted no time in setting the tone when Jacob McMillan intercepted a Yakama Nation pass on the game’s first play and ran it back for a touchdown.
What followed was a green-and-gold blur as the Mountain Lions piled up points with apparent ease.
Quarterback Derek Alumbaugh continued his season-long scoring splurge with a 40-yard touchdown scamper. Running back Enrique Whites followed with a long touchdown run to make the score 24-0, as the Mountain Lions tacked on three two-point conversions.
A Yakama Nation touchdown on a kickoff return was negated by a penalty. When Liberty Bell got the ball back, Alumbaugh took off for another touchdown, a 35-yard run.
Seth Stevie was on the receiving end of a 44-yard touchdown pass from Alumbaugh to make it 38-0.
An apparent touchdown run by the Mountain Lions’ Andrew Reggiatore was called back because of a penalty. But Liberty Bell quickly struck again on another Alumbaugh touchdown run, this one 85 yards. Whites finished the first-half onslaught with a 53-yard touchdown run.
With a little more than a minute to go, the Eagles scored a touchdown to make it 52-6, Liberty Bell, at halftime.
In the second half, Liberty Bell went with its backup players. Yakama Nation scored three times to bring the final tally to 52-26 — actually a greater margin for the Mountain Lions than the previous win over the Eagles.
Alumbaugh carried the ball six times for 168 yards — an average of 28 yards per carry — and Whites carried twice, both touchdowns, for 111 yards. The Mountain Lions netted 257 yards on the ground. Alumbaugh completed two of three passes, while backup quarterback Tanner White was five-for-eight passing. Owen Hevly led the receivers with three catches.
On the defensive side, McMillan had five-and-a-half tackles to go with his interception. Michael Hafsos also had five tackles.
Homecoming drew a good crowd. Coach Steve White said “it’s been a long time since I’ve seen that many people in the stands.”
Liberty Bell is back on its home field for the final two games of the season, its first in eight-man football. The Mountain Lions face Wellpinit on Friday (Oct. 30) at 7 p.m. then host Waterville on Nov. 6 at the same time.