The Liberty Bell High School football team’s season of long road trips took them nearly to Oregon last Saturday (Sept. 22), where the Mountain Lions lost 46-6 to the Cougars of Lyle-Wishram.
It was six-hour bus ride to Lyle-Wishram, a 2B school in southern Klickitat County on the Columbia River across from The Dalles, Oregon. There, the Mountain Lions had to contend with the home team’s Brandon Montoya, one of the best running backs in the state, Liberty Bell coach Bob Bucsko said.
“He [Montoya] lived up to his reputation and taught the Mountain Lions football team what coaches mean when they say break down and wrap up when you tackle,” Bucsko said. “Too many times we were where we were supposed to be but did not bring him down.”
By halftime, Lyle-Wishram had built a 32- 6 lead and Montoya had scored on runs of 15, 30, 40 and 65 yards. The Mountain Lions’ lone score came in the second quarter on a 7-yard pass from Tanner White to Tyler Darwood.
Montoya showed his defensive prowess as well in the third quarter, when he intercepted a Liberty Bell pass and ran it back 35 yards for a touchdown.
Bucsko said a Liberty Bell highlight was the play or running back Bodie Paul, who gained 54 yards on 12 carries in the second half. “We will be seeing more of Bodie,” the coach said.
The loss leaves the Mountain Lions record at 1-3 on the season, which has been played entirely on the road — at Oroville, Kettle Falls (Liberty Bell’s lone victory), Lake Roosevelt and Lyle-Wishram. The Kettle Falls game was scheduled to be played at Liberty Bell, but was moved because of health concerns about wildfire smoke in the valley.
The extended travel “is definitely being felt by our team,” Bucsko said. It will continue this week when the Mountain Lions play at Brewster on Friday (Sept. 28). The first home game is on Oct. 5, when Liberty Bell hosts Soap Lake.
Lyle-Wishram 46, Liberty Bell 6
Liberty Bell 0 6 0 0 6
Lyle-Wishram 20 12 7 7 46