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Liberty closes Mount Si football's regular season with down note
Mount Si’s football team hoped to give their fans a great show last Friday night, Oct. 30, as they faced Liberty. But, despite some early fireworks, Mount Si could not stop the Patriots.
The Wildcats fell 38-28, as Liberty’s top players stood tall. Patriot quarterback Trey Wheeler threw three touchdown passes, while running back Chandler Jenkins had three touchdowns of his own.
“We were very, very concerned about their perimeter speed. They were able to hit the inside trap,” said Mount Si coach Charlie Kinnune. “There’s a reason why they’re 8-1 and ranked third in the state.”
Things looked promising for the Wildcats at first. Mount Si’s defense shut Liberty down on their first series, stopping them at their own two-yard line. The Wildcats started at the Patriot 34-yard line following the punt and subsequent return, and it didn’t take long for Mount Si to score.
The Wildcats hit paydirt on a so-called trick play, as quarterback Chris Clark threw to wide receiver Jordin Kinnune, who then passed to teammate Rossco Castagno. The play, dubbed a “flea-flicker” in football parlance, had put Mount Si on top 7-0.
“All week we saw that their corners were soft. We knew Jordin would have the time to throw it,” Castagno said. “The safety came up and bit on it, and everything just worked the way we thought it would.”
But it didn’t take Wheeler and company long to respond. A little more than 90 seconds after the Wildcat touchdown, the Patriots came back and scored to tie the game, on a 16-yard touchdown run by Jenkins. Later in the opening quarter, Liberty took the lead when Wheeler threw a 16-yard pass to Troy Colyer for a touchdown to help put the Patriots up 14-7. In the second quarter, Wheeler threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jenkins, then Dean Byron kicked a 21-yard field goal to help put the Patriots in command. Mount Si closed out the first half with a 24-yard field goal by Cameron Van Winkle to make the halftime score 24-10.
The Wildcats got the ball to open the second half, and took nearly five minutes off the clock before Castagno fumbled the ball to Liberty. Not to worry, though. On the next play, Jenkins ran the ball before fumbling it himself back to Mount Si.
The Wildcats then went to work on offense, finishing the drive with a Clark 11-yard touchdown pass to Matt Bankston to make it 24-17. On the resulting kickoff, Liberty muffed the return, and the ball was recovered by Mount Si’s Lars Swenson.
“Coach (Gregg) Meyers got us all jacked up for it, and we just did what we had to do,” Swenson said. The Wildcats got the ball back with a chance to tie, but could not reach the end zone. Van Winkle kicked a 24-yard field goal, and it was 24-20.
Wheeler and Jenkins then took over. First, it was Wheeler, throwing a 20-yard touchdown strike to Cameron Talley midway through the final quarter, then Jenkins started and finished off the final Liberty scoring drive. The junior opened it by intercepting a Clark pass, then closed it with a seven-yard touchdown run. With the score 38-20, Clark mounted one more rally, and with less than a minute left, threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kaleb Huerta. Clark then threw a pass to Joe Farmer for the two-point conversion.
Mount Si opens the playoffs Saturday against Hazen, at Renton Stadium.