Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 | 10:18 p.m.
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Las Vegas Sun reporters Ray Brewer and Steve Silver remember former Palo Verde coach David Castro while looking ahead to this week's games.
Liberty coach Rich Muraco made T-shirts this summer for his team that had a simple slogan: Breaking records.
Sure enough, that’s exactly what the Patriots have done. Liberty (5-3) took down Del Sol (7-1) 24-21 Friday to clinch its first playoff appearance in school history.
“We feel like we can compete with anyone,” Muraco said. “We can be in the state championship. That’s not just talk anymore. The kids believe it.”
The Patriots jumped on the Dragons early when quarterback Chris Smith exploded for a 50-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Liberty led 14-0 at halftime.
“They could not run anything on us in the first half,” Muraco said. “We dominated the first half. In the second half, they started breaking some plays.”
The Patriots, however, stood their ground when it was most important. Behind strong defensive performances from senior Michael Reveles and freshman Albert Tai, Del Sol never took the lead from Liberty.
The Dragons cut the lead to a field goal with just a couple minutes remaining, but the Patriots recovered an onside kick to ensure the victory.
“It was very, very big for us,” Muraco said. “This is very big in that we beat an outstanding program in Del Sol."