Liberty falls to Archbishop Murphy 56-14 in state championship game

Wolverines aerial assault and tight defense proved too much for the Patriots.

The Liberty Football team saw their perfect season and state championship dreams come to an end this weekend as the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats started fast and never looked back, beating the Patriots 56-14 in Saturday’s 2A state championship game in Tacoma.

The Wolverines aerial assault proved to be too much for Patriots as Archbishop Murphy scored on five different passing plays of 50 yards or more to seal the win and bring home the state championship.

The Wolverines got the ball first and on their first series threw a 64-yard pass-and-run touchdown to take a quick 7-0 lead on the Patriots.

On their first possession, the Patriots opened with a long run to get to midfield but then fumbled the ball, only to see Archbishop Murphy recover and then take the ball down the field for another touchdown, this one a 5-yard run and a 14-0 lead.

On the ensuing possession, Liberty was unable to get anything going on the offensive side and had to punt. Once they got the ball, the Wolverines wasted no time, tossing a 51-yard touchdown pass for a 21-0 lead as the first quarter expired.

The teams battled for field position through much of the second, but with five minutes left, the Wolverines scored again, this time on an 11-yard run to go up 28-0.

After Liberty again failed to get their offense in gear, they punted again to Murphy who threw another deep pass, a 65-yarder, for their fifth touchdown of the first half and a 35-0 lead.

However, on the ensuing drive, Liberty was finally able to get its offense moving, marching 80 yards in the final minutes and finally pushing through with a 2-yard rushing TD from Reily Larson to make it 35-7 at the half.

In the third, the Wolverines kept up their aerial assault, scoring on another deep pass play, this one a 50-yarder to make it 42-7.

Before the third ended, Archbishop Murphy’s defense again made their presence known, intercepting a pass at their own 31-yard line and turning that in a 69-yard touchdown pass and a 49-7 lead.

Liberty got the ball back early in the fourth and was working their way back up field when a Patriots fumble was picked up by the Wolverine defense and returned 67 yards for a touchdown to make it 56-7 headed to the final frame.

In the fourth, Liberty’s Austin Regis completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Alex Olague to close the gap to 56-14, but it was too little too late as time ran out on the Patriots title dreams.

Liberty finishes the year 12-1. They won the KingCo championship and then beat Blaine, Steilacoom, River Ridge and Ellensburg to earn their shot at the state title.

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