Liberty beat rival Chuckanut 20-10 for the Washington State Championship Saturday. The game was as a renewal of a local derby that's raged for the last few years.
Cuckanut and Liberty went head-to-head three times during the regular season. The first match Chuckanut sidled a slim victory of just one point. The next time the two faced each other, Liberty won by 25 points. So coming into this championship, both teams knew they would be up against a similarly formidable opponent.
“We were really well prepared this year,” the Liberty coach Jeff Candler said.
They sought out Chuckanut’s big guns and went for them. They played a structured game, putting a lot of pressure on Chuckanut’s star flyhalf early. He played well, but Liberty broke him by immediately targeting him.
Chuckanut played an incredible defense, on the other hand, neutralizing the Liberty centers for the majority of the game. However, Candler says with persistence his boys won the battle between the halfbacks and were able to pull off the win.
The star of the game was Colby Ralph, who scored the first try of the game to get Liberty off to a good start and then played strong and consistent from there.
However, Coach Candler says what really brought on the win was the great chemistry of his team. The Liberty boys have been together since 7th grade and have toured nationally together for two years.