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Mount Si football makes magic despite Liberty loss
Mount Si’s football team knew they would be in for a battle last Friday against the Liberty Patriots.
But the fight turned into a 38-22 loss for the Wildcats after mistakes combined with strong performances by the Patriots’ top players—despite three touchdowns by Wildcat senior quarterback Ian Ilgenfritz.
Liberty’s trio of seniors Trey Wheeler, Chandler Jenkins and Jake Bainton combined on all of the scores. Wheeler, the Patriots’ quarterback, threw for two touchdowns—both to Bainton—and ran for another, while Jenkins ran for two scores himself, one from 96 yards out in the second half.
“Good week of preparation, but we just came out flat, didn’t handle adversity well and they beat us up,” said senior tight end Joe Farmer.
Things started out well for Mount Si as linebacker Alec Deichman sacked Wheeler on the first play of the game. That set up a two-point safety which took place on the next play, after the Patriots fumbled the ball on the snap and kicked it out of the end zone.
Late in the quarter, however, Trevor Merritt kicked a 19-yard field goal to put Liberty up 3-2, then the Patriot offense went to work. Shortly after the field goal, Liberty got the ball back and they finished the drive with the first of the two Wheeler-to-Bainton connections for touchdowns, this one covering 37 yards to make the score 10-2.
The Patriots really got it going in the second quarter with three touchdowns within the first four minutes of the frame. First was Wheeler, passing to Bainton again for a 33-yard touchdown, then Wheeler ran the ball in himself from 15 yards out for another score, and the trifecta was completed with a Jenkins two-yard scamper into the end zone. At that point, it was 31-2 Patriots and things looked bleak for scarlet and gray. Aiding the speed in which all of this occurred were three consecutive possessions by Mount Si which ended in turnovers; the Wildcats ended up with a total of five turnovers on the night.
Mount Si opened the second half with a Shelby Williams run for 43 yards which set up an Ilgenfritz two-yard touchdown run. A two-point conversion was attempted to no avail, which made the score 31-8. The Wildcats almost made it closer later in the third quarter, but fumbled the ball away on the Liberty four-yard line. On the next play, Jenkins struck gold with his 96-yard touchdown run. Ilgenfritz in the fourth quarter, however, had his own magic, firing an 89-yard touchdown strike to Trent Riley to make the score 38-15. Ilgenfritz closed things out with a short touchdown with about a minute left, but by then it was too late.
Wildcat coach Charlie Kinnune praised Liberty.
“That’s a very good football team. I can’t imagine too many teams in triple-A being better than that,” he said. “Their skill play just blew us away and their defensive front came to play tonight too.”
Mount Si hosts Interlake Friday at 7 p.m. at Mount Si High School.