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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
December 9, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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SECTION C THE ISSAQUAH PRESS SPORTS WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 9 2009 More sports/C2-3 Classifieds/C4-5 Schools/C6 41, A tale of two titles BY GREG FARRAR The Liberty senior running back Kevln Ton kneels on the Tacoma Dome turf with teammates after the state 3A cham- pionship game loss Bellevue 23-17. Liberty falls prey to i00ellevue's juggernaut of a runntng game BY GIEG FARIAI lake Balnton, Liberty junior defensive back, causes a fumble by Bellevue jun- ior running back Joey Mangialardi in the second quarter. Bellevue retained possession on the play. By Tim Pfarr Issaquah Press reporter iberty High School's foot- ball team came within six points of winning its first state championship in 21 years on Dec. 4. However, the Patriots were un- able to close the gap, falling to the rival Bellevue Wolverines 23-17 in the Tacoma Dome. "Right now, it's tough to swal- low that we lost," Liberty quarter- back Trey Wheeler said after the game. The Wolverines came out with guns blazing, taking the ball first, marching down the field, convert- ing on two. fourth downs and scoring a touchdown. The 80-yard drive took eight minutes and 55 seconds. Liberty blocked Bellevue's extra point, holding Bellevue's lead to 6- 0, but Liberty's offense immedi- ately stalled on its first drive with three-straight incomplete passes. On Bellevue's next drive, it marched down the field once again. This time, Liberty was able to stop Bellevue at the 9-yard line, forcing Bellevue to kick a field goal and only increase its lead to 9-0. On Liberty's next drive, running back Chandler Jenkins broke a 72-yard touchdown run on the second play. The extra point brought Bellevue's lead to 9-7. Bellevue had no trouble march- ing 78 yards on its next drive for another touchdown, increasing its lead to 16-7 going into halftime. At halftime, Liberty's time of possession was only I minute and 51 seconds. The third quarter was domi- nated by defense on both sides of the ball, and neither team scored. However, Liberty opened the fourth quarter with a 14-yard Jenkins touchdown run, closing Bellevue's lead to 16-14. Both teams' defenses domi- nated until the clock reached 6 minutes, at which time Bellevue began another successful drive, this time from its own 46-yard line. See LIBERTY, Page C3 BY GREG ]ARRAI Conner Brandt (2), Skyline senior wide receiver, smiles as he celebrates his fourth-quarter touchdown and the Spartans' impending championship victory over Ferris with teammate Kasen Williams. Skyline runs away with third straight state championship By Christopher Huber Issaquah Press reporter t seemed fitting that as the clock ran down in the final minute of the 2009 Class 4A state championship game, senior quarterback Jake Heaps stepped off the field, allow- ing his replacement, freshman Max Browne to finish the game under center. It was an unceremonious pass- ing-of-the-torch, if you will. Heaps had done his job, throw- ing four touchdown passes -- a new 4A-state-championship-game record -- and leading the Spar- tans to another state title. "I said, 'This is your team now. Enjoy the moment. You're going to be back here,'" Heaps said af- ter the game. Skyline won its third-straight state football championship after beating Ferris 45-21 at the Tacoma Dome Dec. 5. Receiver Kasen Williams also set a title-game record after he caught three passes for touch- downs. Heaps finished his high school career 40-2 as a starter. "These guys are amazing. I love every single moment of it. To be with this special group of guys and to do this three times, it's un- believable," Heaps said. "We just have to approach each game like it's our last. This truly was our BY GREG FARRAR Jake Carlson, Skyline defensive linesman, returns his recovery of a Ferris fumble to the Saxons' 11-yard line in the fourth quarter. Gage Orosco is his speed bump on the play. last game. These guys wanted it so bad, you could see it in their eyes." Many Skyline players had con- sidered it semifinal battle against Bothell to be the toughest fight of the year, but the Saxons, of Ferris, came out fired up. The team had something to prove after losing to Skyline in the 2008 semifinals. "We were really excited to get another chance at 'era. We were real excited when they beat Both- ell," said Ferris senior quarter- back Connor Halliday as he met with his family on the field. "It just comes down to, honestly, I hate to say it, but they're more talented than us. "We had no running game at all and we couldn't stop theirs," he added. "And it's tough when you're not stopping the running game, and you've got Jake Heaps over there throwing the ball." Coming into the game, the Spar- tans knew Ferris would bring all i t See SKYLINE, Page C3 What's in store for Liberty in 20107 By Tim Pfarr Issaquah Press reporter Although the Liberty High School football team was unable to take home the state champi- onship this year, the Patriots' best days may still be ahead. On the 88-man roster in 2009, there are 21 seniors. The team will surely feel the loss of players like tight end/linebacker Cameron Talley and lineman Alex Kaser. TaUey led the team with 63.5 tackles for the year, and he also tacked up 112 yards receiving. Kaser recorded 39.5 tackles on the year, and he also led the team in sacks, with three. But three of the team's biggest threats -- running back/defen- sive back Chandler Jenkins, wide receiver/defensive back Jake Bainton and quarterback Trey Wheeler -- will return next year. Jenkins rushed for 1,345 yards in 2009 in addition to 762 yards receiving and 24 tackles. Bainton recorded 923 yards receiving for the year, in addition to 26.5 tack- les and a team-leading four in- terceptions. Wheeler racked up 2,178 passing yards. Other notable returning play- ers include running back/defen- sive back Tei Staladi, running back/linebacker Jay Chakravarty, running back/defensive back Devin Bennett and tight end/line- backer Jacob Daniels. This year, Staladi recorded 357 rushing yards, Chakravarty recorded 198 rushing yards in addition to 28.5 tackles, Bennett recorded 38.5 tackles and Daniels recorded 31 tackles. "If they work as hard as we did in the offseason, they'll come back and they'll win the state championship," Kaser said re- garding the returning players. "They've just got to put in the hard work like we did this year, and the sky's the limit for them." Wheeler said preparation for the next season begins immedi- ately. "It's going to he a new journey, and it's going to be a lot of work," he said. "But we've got a taste of what we can achieve." m Pfarr: 392-6434, ext. 239, or new- cas@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com. BY GREG FARRAR Skyline senior Ilnebacker Anthony DeMatteo is only one of two Washington athletes chosen to play in the Aloha Prep Bowl Dec. 12 in Hawaii. Spartan linebacker invited to play in Aloha Prep Bowl Skyline senior linebacker An- thony DeMatteo learned Nov. 29 that he would get a chance to play with the best high school football players in the country in the Aloha Prep Bowl. He was one of only two Wash- ington athletes chosen to repre- sent the Mainland team -- Both- elf's CoIin Porter will join him in Hawaii, said Norah Grady, of the SportsLink communications team. "When I first found out, I took it as a great honor," DeMatteo said. "To be fit to play with some of the top athletes in the nation, it's very honorable of them to consider me. I'm very excited. I get one more game of high school." The Aloha Prep Bowl is Dec. 12 at Aloha Stadium and part of a doubleheader. It includes the 19th annual Hawaii Goodwill Senior Bowl and the second annual Hawaii/Polynesia-Mainland Bowl. DeMatteo will play in the Hawaii/Polynesia-Mainland Bowl with 31 of the top-rated players from the continental U.S. against the top 40 from Hawaii or with ties to Hawaii. "It's going to be a lot of fun. I thrive on good competition," De- Matteo said. He was selected from more than 1,000 athletes who were also con- sidered for the U.S. Army All- American Bowl. SportsLink and Football Univer- sity, as well as the Hawaii National Guard, put on the event each year. The Hawaii/Polynesia-Mainland Bowl will air at 7 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time on FOX West Prime Ticket. Both games will stream on the Web at www.hawai- idigitalsports.com and will have live play-by-play state at www.ScoringLive.com. DeMatteo said he looks forward "to the fact that I get more experi- ence and to playing with top ath- letes. And to see where I stand with good linemen, good running backs."