Liberty Gets Revenge; Back to Hershey
Coatesville, Pa: Bethlehem Liberty (14-1) redeemed itself from its only loss of the season in beating North Penn (14-1) 21-14. This win advances the Hurricanes back to the 4A state final next Saturday in Hershey at 7p.m.
In week one, Liberty lost to North Penn 23-15, which was their only blemish of the season. In that game the Knights stormed out to a 20-0 halftime lead until the Canes came back with 15 points of their own thus keeping the game from a blowout to making it interesting.
This was not the first time the two teams have met. In 2005, Liberty won a slugfest over North Penn 14-12 also in the Eastern final.
With this win Liberty rides a 14-game winning streak to face off against Western power Bethel Park who beat Wilson West Lawn in triple overtime 38-35.
This win puts Liberty in the state finals for the 3rd time in 4-years. The Hurricanes hope that the 3rd time is a charm as they were humbled in 2005 and 2006 by McKeesport Area and Upper Saint Clair respectively.
This win also makes it 4 in a row and 5 out of 7 for an LVC team (D11) to reach the finals as Parkland split winning in 2002 against Woodland Hills and losing last year to Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
Liberty received the opening kick off and marched 80-yards on 18 plays while consuming 9:14 of the first quarter. Liberty attacked the heart of North Penn by running their belly option series with a steady diet of FB Daryl Klotz and QB Anthony Gonzalez. Gonzalez finished off the drive with a 1-yard sneak. The extra point was blocked and Liberty led 6-0.
On the ensuing kick off North Penn drove down the field on a long drive of it’s own covering 64-yards on 12 plays with Ronnie Akins taking it in from 2-yards out. PAT was good, North Penn 7-6.
After a tip drill INT from Gonzalez to Klotz, Devon Street was the benefactor of a 3-yard TD pass from Gonzalez. The drive, once again time consuming, took 11-plays.
Liberty went for the 2-point conversion and made it on a shuffle pass to Brandon Brader. Liberty 14-7. That’s how the half would end.
North Penn received the 2nd half kickoff and went straight to trickery. Akins threw a WR pass to a wide-open Tyler Smith for a gain of 42-yards. Akins capped off the drive with his 2nd touchdown of the game from 4-yards out which tied it at 14 all.
Once again it was Liberty that responded. On 3rd and 20 Gonzalez hit TE Horvin Latimer for a 32-yard gain. Brader put the Hurricanes ahead with an 18-yard TD run. Liberty 21-14.
It appeared Liberty would go up by 2 scores but were held on 4th and 1 at the 4-yard line.
There was 3:20 remaining but Liberty’s Mark Olivo sealed the win with an INT as Liberty then ran out the clock.
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