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Las Vegas High School Football Game of The Week: Playoffs – Liberty vs Bishop Gorman


Every year since 2009 Bishop Gorman high school has won a NIAA State Title, including 3 straight High School National Titles (2014, 2015 & 2016). During that time, Liberty high school kept building, brick by brick and waited for the opportuity to play David to Gorman’s Goliath. The Patriots always considered themsleves the Gaels’ biggest threat and every season played a very challenging non-league schedule to prepare them for their yearly playoff match-up against Gorman.

On a cold Las Vegas Friday night at Liberty High School the Patriots may have pulled off the biggest upset in the history of Nevada high school football.

Liberty defeated the Gaels 30-24 in a thrilling overtime game that featured 4 lead changes, a Gorman missed field goal in overtime, and the Liberty student body and families storming the field shortly after junior running back Zyrus Fiaseu scored the game winning touchdown from 7 yards out. Bishop Gorman, who came in with a national ranking of 13th by USA Today and 16th by MaxPreps this week, had won 10 straight state titles and 115 straight games against in-state opponents. Palo Verde high school was the last team to beat the Gaels a little over 11 years ago, almost to the date (November 21st, 2008).

Liberty head coach Rich Muraco has built his program on the “any time, any where” montra, going to California, Arizona and Hawaii this year and taking on some of the nations top high school programs. The Patriots played Chandler High School and Liberty High School in Arizona, Mililani High School in Hawaii and two of the nations best teams in St. John Bosco and Corona Centennial in California. Liberty lost all five games by a total score of 213-108, but that didn’t bother the man who has guided the Patriots for the last 10 years. He had bigger goals in mind.

Beat Gorman, and win state.

While the Patriots have had opportunities in past seasons but came up short, this year was different. A lot of credit has to go to new linebacker coach Brad Talich and helped put the gameplan together with defensive coodinator Kaipo Batoon to stop Gorman’s high powered offense. Talich is a long-time Vegas high school coach and is viewed as the best defensive mind in the city. He came to Liberty after a brief stop at Gorman this offseason. His previous position was defensive coordinator at Foothill High School.

As for the future of Bishop Gorman and their head coach Kenny Sanchez, just like after every season, rumors will swirl. Knowing coach Sanchez, he’ll make sure his team reloads and gets back at it right away. The Gaels are a team with a ton of underclassmen that are difference makers returning in 2020. Along with the nations’ top running back for the 2022 class Jaydn Ott, Zion and Zachariah Branch, Cam Barfield, Cyrus Moss, Jaden Hicks and Fabian Ross all return for the Gaels next season. 

This is great for Las Vegas football since it shows that on any givenation’sn Friday night, a team can be beat. Liberty built their roster for this moment. They didn’t play schools to fluff up their record, but rather focused on their team and what they had to do to be the best they could be against one of the nations’ best teams. The Patriots took Gorman’s best punch time and time again and delivered more than their fair share in Friday’s match-up. Like Rocky Balboa, they defeated the champion, Apollo Creed.



Liberty High School’s next game is on November 30th, 2019, against the winner of Damonte Ranch vs. Bishop Manouge match-up. The location will be in Reno, NV and the kick-off is TBD.

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Liberty vs Bishop Gorman

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Photography Trisha LaCoste and Terrance Quaites