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September 1, 2014

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high school football:

Liberty marches on in playoffs by beating Valley

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Sam Morris

Liberty running back Niko Kapeli tosses the ball to a referee during their game against Del Sol Saturday, October 2, 2011. Liberty won 34-0.

Prep Sports Now

Working through the playoff brackets

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer go over the high school football postseason picture and reflect on how it got to this point. The episode also contains a lengthy segment debating who is the Southeast Division MVP — Niko Kapeli, Kyle Keplinger, Aaron Love or Chris Marshall.

Team Pages

Liberty junior running back Niko Kapeli ran for more than 200 yards in five of his team’s nine games this regular season.

He’s also one-for-one in eclipsing the 200-yard milestone in the postseason after Friday night. Kapeli rushed for 257 yards on 20 carries as Southeast Division champion Liberty pounded Northeast No. 4 seed Valley 42-6.

“We knew they had a lot of young starters and we’re a team with a bunch of seniors,” said Liberty coach Rich Muraco. “That’s a big difference. We wanted to use that to wear them down. We wanted to come out and show them how physical we were from the first drive.”

Kapeli led Liberty on a 14-play scoring drive in its first possession. He hardly stopped for the rest of the night.

Kai Nacua mixed in a touchdown pass to Jared Tuliagi before Muraco started to substitute in some of his younger players. Freshman running back Lucas Bogues began to star at that point and found the end zone for a touchdown.

The victory sets up a second-round showdown with Las Vegas High. Liberty embarrassed Las Vegas in the Sunrise Regional finals last year, 35-14.

Muraco praised Las Vegas standouts Hasaan Henderson and Farrell Victor, but made no attempt to hide Liberty’s game plan.

“We’ve found the best way to play at the speed teams is to run right at them, so that’s what we’re going to do,” Muraco said.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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