As I waited for Juanita and Liberty to finish up their postgame talks, I couldn’t help but see the similarities between the two programs.
Considering Rebels coach Shaun Tarantola was once a member of Steve Valach’s staff, that’s really not a surprise, but it’s always nice to see two coaches leading programs that seem to do things the right way.
For example, with the clock winding down and a chance to run in for a meaningless touchdown, Andre Casino did the honorable thing and slid to the ground at the 10-yard line, allowing the Rebels to run out the clock.
After Juanita’s 28-14 upset of second-ranked Liberty, it was nice to see two programs that really respect one another walking off the field.
Tarantola said he never felt comfortable until Liberty ran out of timeouts. The Patriots have created a tradition of falling behind early before roaring back and it seemed like that could have happen once again Friday night.
However, give a lot of credit to Jeremiah Laufasa, who picked off a pair of second-half passes and had a 59-yard touchdown run.
Now the big question becomes, how far does Juanita climb in the rankings? And, how far to drop Liberty? And, even more than that, can the Rebels build off this win and knock off Bellevue next week?
After watching both teams play several times, I think Juanita has the edge up front with a big, physical line. However, Bellevue is known for its discipline and, while they are improving, the Rebels have shot themselves in the foot at times this year with penalties and turnovers.
It makes for an exciting matchup in a season that has already been full of them.
Liberty continues to play its best football in the second half. Trey Wheeler completed 10 of 17 passes for 143 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Wheeler did an excellent job of moving around in the pocket to buy time.
Chandler Jenkins had 10 carries for 51 yards and two catches for 22 yards.
Here is a look back at the rest of Friday night’s action.
No. 9 Kentwood 19, No. 3 Auburn 7
No. 4 Bothell 27, Inglemoor 3
Kentlake 33, Tahoma 21
Edmonds-Woodway 52, Jackson 51, OT
Glacier Peak 42, Meadowdale 21
Garfield 35, Roosevelt 28
Garfield’s backup quarterback Pierre Wright carried the ball 13 times for 261 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw for 104 yards and a score.
Oak Harbor 53, Lynnwood 6
Oak Harbor’s Josiah Miller had punt returns of 83 and 52 yards for touchdowns.
Everett 48, Shorecrest 21
Everett’s Spencer McKinnon threw for 261 yards and touchdowns of 57, 17, 53 and 45 yards.
Kent-Meridian 38, Jefferson 34
Kent-Meridian’s David Jones rushed for 256 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries.
Jefferson’s Keegan Giles rushed for 257 yards and two touchdowns on 39 carries, but it wasn’t enough for the Raiders.
Auburn Riverside 55, Mount Rainier 7
Auburn Riverside’s Nick Alexander returned punts 63 and 65 yards for touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass.
Bonney Lake 34, Auburn Mountainview 7
Bonney Lake’s Chris Brown threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns, while Austin Marshall caught 12 passes for 226 yards and four scores.
Lake Washington 38, Sammamish 14
Lake Washington’s Alex Donnelly rushed for 170 yards on 22 carries and scored four touchdowns.
King’s 35, South Whidbey 0
King’s Curtis Clauson had 11 catches for 181 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Lakes 42, Peninsula 14
Lakes’ Levonte Littlejohn had 277 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
Skyline 45, Redmond 0
Skyline’s Max Browne completed 10 of 12 passes for 122 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Kasen Williams had five catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns, while Jordan Simone caught four passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.