Liberty advances to state championship game

Patriots beat Ellensburg 35-26 Saturday for shot at state title.

The Liberty Patriots will play for the state championship this weekend in Tacoma after beating the Ellensburg Bulldogs 35-26 on Saturday in Yakima.

According to Maxpreps, Liberty opened the scoring on Saturday in he first when Cameron Spaeth broke off a 75-yard touchdown run with six minutes left in the quarter.

Early in the second, a long pass play from Austiin Regis to Dulin Hayden led to a 5-yard rushing touchdown from Jacob Thoresen to give Liberty a 14-0 lead.

On the next Ellensburg possession, Liberty intercepted a pass and then handed the ball to Khalil Manning who took it 31 yards for a touchdown to give the Patriots a 21-0 lead.

But with three minutes left in the half, Ellensburg responded, finally getting on the board with a 7-yard passing touchdown.

But not to be outdone, Liberty took the kickoff and then got help from an unsportsmanlike conduct call on the Bulldogs to move the ball into Ellensburg territory. With less than a minute left on the clock, Regis got his first of two rushing touchdowns, a 1-yard scramble, to give Liberty a 28-7 lead at the half.

Ellensburg got the ball first to open the second half, but Liberty recovered a fumble on the Bulldog eight-yard-line to go back on offense, resulting in Regis’ second rushing TD of the day, an 8-yard dash for a 35-7 lead.

With three minutes left in the third, Ellensburg finally found the end zone again, this one on another 7-yard passing play, and the teams headed to the final frame with Liberty up 35-14.

In the fourth quarter, Ellensburg scored two more rushing touchdowns, but missed both extra points, as Liberty’s defense held up, picking up two more interceptions, including one with less than two minutes to go to seal the game and the 35-26 final score.

With the win, Liberty advances to the state championship game at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. The Patriots will play Archbishop Murphy, who crushed Lynden 52-14 on Saturday in Everett.

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