Issaquah hangs on for 27-21 overtime victory over Liberty | Football

Bodies were strewn everywhere in front of the goal line. Then, out of a pile emerged Issaquah middle linebacker Nik Landdeck, hoisting a football over his head. The senior glanced at the referee, watched him point in the direction of the Eagles, and sprinted to midfield where he was swarmed by teammates, coaches and the Issaquah student body.

Issaquah quarterback Ethan Kalin breaks away from the Liberty defense Friday night. The junior had 15 carries for 110 yards and one touchdown

Issaquah quarterback Ethan Kalin breaks away from the Liberty defense Friday night. The junior had 15 carries for 110 yards and one touchdown

Bodies were strewn everywhere in front of the goal line.

Then, out of a pile emerged Issaquah middle linebacker Nik Landdeck, hoisting a football over his head. The senior glanced at the referee, watched him point in the direction of the Eagles, and sprinted to midfield where he was swarmed by teammates, coaches and the Issaquah student body.

“I saw the ball just sitting out there vulnerable, stripped it, saw it squirt out right before the goal line — game over,” said Landdeck, standing in the same spot he recovered a fumble moments earlier to secure a 27-21 double-overtime victory over Liberty.

The game-clinching defensive play came just seconds after Patriot quarterback Trey Wheeler completed an 11-yard pass to Anthony Lemmon, setting up a first and goal at the Eagle’s 3-yard line.

A Liberty touchdown, coupled with an extra point, would have sealed the win for the Patriots.

Momentum turned on the very next play, however.

As he tried to push forward for extra yardage, Liberty running back Chandler Jenkins coughed the ball up at the 1-yard line — much to the dismay of a confused Patriot coaching staff.

“I didn’t see it,” head coach Steve Valach said. “It’s hard when it kind of feels like a judgement that ends the game. But you know what, we might watch film and say that wasn’t a judgement call, that was absolutely a crystal clear call.”

Landdeck, who is known for his big-hit abilities, simply did what he knows how to do best.

“I just saw the stretch and the toss outside, I saw him come back in and I filled the hole,” he said.

Issaquah quarterback Ethan Kalin admitted he had to turn his back as Liberty marched down the field in the second overtime. When he saw the fans erupt as the result of Landdeck’s play, he breathed a sigh of relief.

“That was a huge play, that was a Division I linebacker play right there,” Kalin said.

Issaquah took the lead on the first drive of the second overtime when Kalin marched the Eagles 25 yards in three plays, capped by a 6-yard Taylor Wyman run for a TD.

Wyman, who’s also the kicker, missed the PAT left, however, leaving Issaquah with a six-point advantage.

Kalin ended the first overtime period with another three-play scoring drive, connecting with Wyman on a 25-yard screen pass for a TD, tying the game at 21-21.

Liberty started the overtime off with a 17-yard TD pass from Wheeler to Scott Dean.

The Patriots forced the overtime on some last-minute heroics from Wheeler. After Issaquah botched a snap on a field goal attempt with just under 1:30 left in the game, the Liberty senior immediately countered. On the second play from scrimmage, he escaped multiple Eagle defenders, broke right, before coming back left and finding sophomore receiver Tynan Gilmore down the sideline for a 56-yard TD. Prior to the touchdown, Wheeler had completed just six of 19 passes for a total 56 yards.

Issaquah broke a 7-7 halftime stalemate on its first drive of the second half after Kalin capped a 13-play drive off with an 11-yard TD to Evan Peterson.

Kalin ended the game completing 14 of 32 passes for 180 yards, with two TDs and two INTs. His largest plays, however, came running the ball. He had 15 carries for 110 yards, including a 3-yard rushing TD in the first quarter.

“They’re not used to a 230-pound quarterback running through a hole,” Kalin said. “I think it caught them way off guard, they’re weren’t expecting that.”

Liberty’s lone first-half score came on a 35-yard interception return from Jenkins.

The Patriots ended the game with 231 yards of total offense, but had just 52 in the first half. Issaquah, which improved to 2-0, had 336 total yards.

“We found a way to win and the kids never gave up,” Issaquah head coach Chris Bennett said. “I’m so proud of our kids because when you dominate a game, then all the sudden there’s a big momentum swing and you get down in overtime — they could have hung their heads but they kept battling and they kept fighting.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

Photo of Eastlake Little League’s All Star Team. From L to R: (Back row) Jackson Wheeler, Kellen Kinney, Sanath Chari, James Ort III, Sule Tian, Eli Jones, Pryce Eadon. (Front row) JJ Hamiltion, Sawyer Todd, Ryder Oswalt, Walter Steinbok, Logan Rausch, Harrison Militello. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Steinbok.
Eastlake’s time at Little League World Series comes to an end

The boys of Eastlake Little League’s 12U all-star team’s time at the… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Teaser
Eastlake all-stars score spot in Little League World Series

Eastlake Little League’s 12U all star team was crowned Northwest Regional Champions… Continue reading

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Screenshot
Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

t
Issaquah notches girls soccer victory

Issaquah’s girls soccer team celebrates a goal during its 4-0 victory over… Continue reading

t
Registration open for Panthers Youth Rugby

By Sophie Demandolx Special to the Reporter If you are a teenager… Continue reading

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.