Quick-striking Liberty slams door on Mount Si, 38-22
The Patriots had a 28-0, five-minute burst and got a 96-yard touchdown run from Chandler Jenkins to seal a victory over the Wildcats.
Special to The Seattle Times
ISSAQUAH — Liberty's fans shouldn't risk taking their eyes off the field. That's how good the Patriots' show is at times.
In a key matchup of KingCo 3A/2A contenders, Liberty made quick work of Mount Si and rolled to a 38-22 victory Friday night at Liberty High School. The Patriots, ranked second in Class 3A, forced five turnovers and scored 28 straight points in 5:03 to slam the door early.
"We converted on a lot of their mistakes," Patriots coach Steve Valach said. "Mount Si is a good team. It was kind of unusual that way."
Leading the charge for Liberty was senior receiver Jake Bainton, who was playing his first full game of the season after missing the previous two with a shoulder injury. Bainton caught seven passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns. His first, a 37-yard beauty, put the Patriots (3-1, 2-0) on top 10-2 after giving up a safety on the game's first possession.
"It was like I didn't skip a beat," Bainton said of being back on the field.
Liberty quarterback Trey Wheeler, KingCo's leading passer coming into the game, was 11 of 19 for 210 yards and two scores. He also ran for a touchdown, zipping around the left side for a 15-yard TD that made it 24-2 with 10:38 remaining in the second quarter.
And then there was Chandler Jenkins, the Patriots' whiz kid who amassed 237 total yards to boost his league-leading statistics. Jenkins ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 53 yards.
His 3-yard score extended the Patriots' lead to 31-2 at the break and capped a wild 5-minute stretch Mount Si wishes it could forget. Three second-quarter turnovers killed any chance the Wildcats (2-2, 1-1) had of clawing back into it and allowed the Patriots' three amigos to show their stuff.
"It started good, and then their star players just exploded," said Mount Si coach Charlie Kinnune.
Mount Si opened the second half with an Ian Ilgenfritz touchdown, one of three by the Wildcats quarterback. But a Liberty interception at the goal line on Mount Si's next possession sealed the deal. Jenkins ripped off a dazzling 96-yard touchdown run two plays later.
If you turned away, you may have missed it.
"When you have guys like Trey, Chandler and Jake, it just makes everyone better," Valach said.