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May 22, 2019

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high school football:

Liberty outclasses Foothill in 48-25 victory

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Prep Sports Now

When basketball coaching fails, it's back to football talking

Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer recount their experience coaching the Las Vegas All-Star team against Findlay Prep in basketball and move on to football talk in the 11th Prep Sports Now of the year.

Liberty extended its division winning streak to 22 games, following a 48-25 win over Foothill on Friday.

Kai Nacua had the touchdown trifecta. He threw, ran and received a score, while Niko Kapeli rushed for one touchdown.

The Patriots (8-1, 5-0 division) were up 41-19 at the half, and Liberty coach Rich Muraco opted to rest Kapeli and only play Nacua on defense.

“They were beasts,” Muraco said of his senior leaders.

In the past two years, the Liberty-Foothill battle served as the stage to decide which team would emerge with the top seed from the Southeast Division.

But it was a meeting five years ago that Muraco recalled as a key moment that started Liberty’s journey to becoming one of the top programs in the valley.

“Five years ago, we lost to Foothill and missed out on the playoffs. We used that as motivation and built on that every year,” Muraco said. “When we weren’t winning, it wasn’t because we had bad players, or we were worse coaches. It was just a culture within the team.”

The Patriots’ program has come a long way from that game, and Muraco said that the success starts at the freshman and junior varsity levels.

More importantly, the culture at Liberty has changed.

“The kids believe,” Muraco said. “All of a sudden you’re winning close games, winning playoff games and making a run at state.”

The Patriots start their journey back to the state championship game against Silverado next Friday in the Sunrise Regional tournament.

The Falcons (3-6, 2-3) draw Northeast Division champions Green Valley in Sunrise Regional tournament.

Paul Delos Santos can be reached at 990-2416 or [email protected]. Follow Paul on Twitter at

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