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March 25, 2019

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high school football:

Liberty puts up a fight on defense but can’t get offense going in shutout loss

2014 High School Football

Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

From left, Liberty High School football players Joshua Bernard, Bryan Roland and Calvin Tubbs July 21, 2014.

Area high schools couldn’t pull off another winning week against out-of-state competition.

Although Bishop Gorman beat Santa Margarita from California, Liberty fell in a road game against Arizona power Hamilton 21-0.

“Both defenses mostly played great,” Liberty coach Rich Muraco said. “We defended them well all night, but just couldn’t score.”

The Patriots moved the ball all right at times. They finished just short of 300 yards as freshman quarterback Kenyon Oblad alone completed about 50 percent of his passes for 220 yards. Both junior Bryan Roland and sophomore Ethan Dedeaux finished around 100 receiving yards.

Hamilton barely out-gained them, just eclipsing the 300-yard barrier. The Huskies’ first-down edge was only 18 to 16.

“It was a close game, back and forth,” Muraco said. “Unfortunately, we put them in positions and they’re a great team that capitalized. This is why I wanted to play these teams — to show our guys that we need to play a perfect game. Tonight, we didn’t do that.”

Liberty had five turnovers, but only managed to give up points off one of them. The defense fed off a valiant effort from Noah Jefferson, Rudy Bukassa and John Groom up front.

Hamilton’s first touchdown came on a trick play that caught Liberty off guard. The second came after the Patriots had a snapping mishap on a punt attempt deep in their own territory, putting them in a 14-0 hole at halftime.

Liberty had chances in the second half, most notably when Dedeaux scooped a fumble in the fourth quarter and returned it into Hamilton territory. The Patriots only ran one play before losing the ball right back.

“That really deflated us,” Muraco said, “and pretty much did it.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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