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Penalties hurt Hazen as they fall to Liberty 28-7
It may have been Liberty High School on the opposing sidelines, but Hazen football's biggest opponent Friday night at Renton Memorial Stadium may have been themselves.
A pair of touchdowns called back for penalties and a fumble on the 6-yard line with 1:22 left in the first half made things difficult for the Highlanders, who fell 28-7 in their home opener against the Patriots.
Liberty opened the scoring in the first quarter after a trick play, running a hook-and-ladder that put Liberty inside the 10 and led to a 1-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Hazen faked a punt on fourth-and-long, with Marquise Lee taking the ball all the way to the end zone, but a penalty brought the ball back out and the Highlanders were eventually forced to punt.
Later in the second, Lee again ran a ball in for an apparent touchdown, but a penalty on the far sideline again brought the ball back out and the Highlanders eventually lost the ball on a fumble inside the 10 as the clock ticked down the final minutes of the first half.
In the third quarter, Hazen picked up some momentum with an interception with 1:42 left, but immediately gave the ball back on the next play, throwing an interception of their own.
As the fourth quarter began, Liberty was up 21-0 and Hazen switched to a faster, no-huddle style offense and began moving the ball better against the Liberty defense and Lee put the Highlanders on the board with an exciting, 8-yard touchdown run around the outside to make it two-score game.
On the ensuing kickoff, Hazen attempted an on-sides kick, but Liberty recovered and took the ball 58 yards on two plays to give them a 28-7 lead and the win.
Hazen (0-2) takes on Highline at 7 p.m. Friday at Renton Memorial Stadium.