Neah Bay Defeats Liberty Christian for Third 1B Title in Four Years By Steven Dion
The penultimate matchup of the 2014 state championships featured a round of 8-man football from the smallest classification as 2012 winners in Liberty Christian from Richland would take on the defending champs: the Neah Bay Red Devils. Tony McCaulley has led NBHS to the championship game every year since 2011 in which the only loss was against these LC Patriots.
In the week leading up to the game, Coach McCaulley said upperclassmen had extra motivation in this game to even up the score against the Pats whose victory was on the final play of the game back in ’12. Each team had an undefeated record heading into this game, whose mark would remain perfect?
Neah Bay’s senior tailback scored three rushing touchdowns in the first half to give them 22 points in the first 22 minutes. Liberty Christian’s John Lesser was effective running the football in the first half as well as the junior scored two touchdowns in addition to 86 yards on the ground.
A backbreaking play in this contest was John Reamer returned the ball over 90 yards after the Neah Bay defense ripped the ball out of the carrier’s hands. This play was essentially a fourteen point swing because the Patriots were on the verge of scoring.
As the game wore on into the latter part of the second half, Neah Bay began to pull away and eventually secure a 56-38 win to claim their third championship in 4 years. The score between these two teams in title games is one apiece now. Will the two meet up again in the near future to settle the score?
The FinalScore – Neah Bay 56, Liberty Christian 38.
1B State Finals Preview, Neah Bay vs. Liberty-Christian By Steven Dion
A clash of the 2012 and 2013 state champs. Neah Bay is the defending champion and winner of 2 in the last 3 seasons. Liberty-Christian defeated Neah Bay to capture the title in 2012 on the final play of the contest. I spoke with the head coach of the Red Devils Tony McCaulley this week and that game was certainly discussed this week to fire up his team, especially upperclassmen that played in the game. McCaulley’s team was tested by Lummi to reach the finals as they were limited to 213 total yards and lost 3 fumbles in a 26-20 win. The Red Devil defense also show signs of vulnerability as Lummi’s three trips to the red zone all resulted in scores. 40 of NBHS’s 45 plays were rushes, so Cole Svec and Reggie Buttram’s ability to move the football with their legs will be important.
Liberty Christian defeated Republic by the score of 46-20 en route to a state final berth. The score doesn’t fully indicate how dominant the Patriots were in this contest. Mike Olson’s team had a four touchdown lead before the Tigers even got on the board. John Lesser was responsible for 6 touchdowns, three by air and three by ground. Both teams have championship experience so it would not be a surprise to see a tight game decided in the fourth quarter. Looking forward to this game at 4 pm on Saturday night.
2013 Varsity Football Live Interview Tumwater Thunderbirds – Head Football Coach
Winningest Coach in State History
Join us as Dick Fain talks with legendary Coach Sid Otton about his winning streak – possibly leading to number 350 this week. The Tumwater T-Birds have 5 State Championships under Coach Otton’s reign, and are currently ranked #2 after starting the season 3-0.
In his 40th season, Coach Otton believes a positive approach, commitment and dedication are keys to a successful season.
“We’re off to a strong start … they’re gaining confidence … but our approach is to never look at the rankings … we’re just looking at the next game.”
As for the keys to preparing for another State Championship run, Coach Otton hopes the team will “stay healthy, stay focused on the next snap, respect their opponent, and try to get better and better and better.”
To catch the complete radio interview with Coach Otton, simply click on the play button below.