Football finishes the season at home on Friday
By Don Nelson
The Liberty Bell High School football team continued its prolific scoring streak with a 54-34 home field win over Wellpinit on Friday (Oct. 30), but credit the defense with keeping the visitors out of the end zone more than once.
Three interceptions and two fumble recoveries stopped Wellpinit drives and put the ball back in the hands of the Liberty Bell offense — which took advantage of the opportunities.
The Mountain Lions rambled for 449 rushing yards on 50 carries (about 9 yards per carry), including eight touchdowns and three two-point conversions.
Sophomore Seth Stevie led the onslaught with four rushing touchdowns, and added a two-point conversion. He carried the ball 15 times for 162 yards.
The most exciting plays of the night were two long, twisting touchdown scampers by freshman Enrique Whites, who rang up 197 yards on 12 carries before a cramp relegated him to the sidelines. In each of his scores, Whites reversed field several times on his way to the end zone.
Junior quarterback Derek Alumbaugh added two rushing touchdowns and a couple of two-point conversions to complete the scoring. He carried 15 times for 41 yards. Senior Jacob McMillan rushed for 29 yards on six carries, and freshman quarterback Tanner White carried two times for 20 yards.
Alumbaugh was 4-9 passing for 45 yards, with one interception. White completed one of two passes for 5 yards.
Senior safety Andrew Reggiatore picked off two Wellpinit passes. Stevie added an interception from his cornerback position, and recovered a fumble for good measure.
The other fumble recovery was by McMillan, whose instinct for the ball also led to 12-1/2 tackles. Alumbaugh had six tackles from his defensive end position, and junior linebacker Michael Hafsos added five tackles.
The only first-quarter scoring was Whites’ 60-yard touchdown traverse. The Mountain Lions added running touchdowns by Alumbaugh and Stevie in the second quarter — sandwiched around Wellpinit’s 55-yard touchdown pass to Dwight Brisbois — to end the first half up 22-6. Stevie’s fumble recovery at the 2-yard line prevented Wellpinit from getting closer.
Wellpinit opened the second half with a 99-yard kickoff return by Brisbois to narrow the gap to eight points.
A McMillan touchdown run was called back because of a penalty, but the Mountain Lions persevered and scored on a 1-yard run by Alumbaugh, putting Liberty Bell up 30-14. A Reggiatore interception was followed by a 58-yard touchdown run by Whites, which left him cramped up and done for the evening. Clayton Flett responded with a touchdown run for Wellpinit, and the third quarter closed with Liberty Bell ahead, 36-22.
Stevie scored twice on 30- and 54-yard runs to extend the Mountain Lions’ lead to 48-22. On the second scoring run, Stevie wasn’t even supposed to be on the field but Liberty Bell ran out of time to change personnel, the ball was snapped, and Stevie took it from there. He later added a 10-yard score. Wellpinit scored twice more, but it wasn’t enough.
Liberty Bell hosts Waterville on Friday (Nov. 6) in the final game of the year. In their first year playing eight-man football, the Mountain Lions go into Friday’s game with a 7-1 record and own a 40-22 win over Waterville earlier in the season.
“They have exceeded my expectations all season long,” coach Steve White said of the Mountain Lions.
Winning on Friday night would give Liberty Bell an 8-1 record and “would be a wonderful way to start” as an eight-man program, White said — adding, “and perhaps a wonderful way to finish.” That’s because the Methow Valley School District said earlier that it will revisit this year’s decision to play eight-man football, with the possibility of returning to 11-man competition.