A long, unplanned road trip was extended a few minutes more as the Liberty Bell High School football team needed overtime to defeat Kettle Falls, 32-26, last Friday (Sept. 7).
The Mountain Lions were scheduled to play their first home game of the season, and show off a new scoreboard and concession stand. But lingering smoke in the valley, and the health threats the smoke posed, prompted a decision to instead take the long bus ride to Kettle Falls and play there.
Liberty Bell took a 6-0 first-quarter lead over the home team on a 5-yard touchdown run by Brady Moriarty. The Mountain Lions kept the momentum in the second quarter, scoring twice more on a 30-yard run by Moriarty and a 5-yard scamper by quarterback Tanner White, building an 18-0 lead.
Kettle Falls finally came to life and answered with two touchdowns, a 3-yard run and 20-yard touchdown pass. The half ended with Liberty Bell leading, 18-12.
The Mountain Lions controlled play in the third quarter, adding another touchdown on a 1-yard plunge by Magnus Treise, who added a 2-point conversion to give Liberty Bell a 26-12 lead going in to the fourth quarter.
The game’s real drama was yet to come. Kettle Falls rebounded with two running touchdowns, and a two-point conversion, to draw even at 26 all. That’s how it ended in regulation play.
In overtime, Liberty Bell held on defense. Then, on the Mountain Lions’ first offensive play, Alex Whites bolted 25 yards for the winning touchdown.
The win evens Liberty Bell’s record for the season at 1-1.
Moriarty led the Mountain Lions’ rushing corps with 68 yards on 9 carries. Whites carried only twice but racked up 65 yards including the game decider. Brayden White gained 42 yards on 11 carries, and Treise had 52 yards on 7 carries. White was 5-for-8 passing for 51 yards. He was not intercepted. Tyler Darwood had three receptions for 31 yards.
The Mountain Lions registered 13 first downs and 287 total yards of offense. Liberty Bell was penalized probably a bit more often than coach Bob Bucsko would have liked — 10 times for 80 yards.
On defense, White was all over the field, making 8 solo tackles and assisting on 13. Treise had 7 solo tackles and 10 assists. Whites and Cole Rhoades each picked off a pass. White, Bodie Paul and Abel Curtis each had a sack.
Missing the home game means that, unless there are schedule changes, the Mountain Lions won’t play before the local crowd until the Oct. 5 game against Soap Lake. The next three scheduled games are at Lake Roosevelt on Friday (Sept. 14), Lyle Wishram on Sept. 22 and Brewster on Sept. 28.