The quest for back-to-back state titles continues Saturday for the Stratton/Liberty football team.

The Knighted Eagles, the second seed in the 6-man postseason, will take on the Branson/Kim Bearcats at 1 p.m. in Stratton. The seventh-seed Bearcats advanced to the quarterfinals with a 52-20 win over 10th-seed Briggsdale, last week, while Stratton/Liberty cruised past Walsh 60-14.

Stratton/Liberty is now 9-1, having won nine straight since a season-opening loss to top-seed Kit Carson. The Bearcats are 8-1, their only loss coming by one point to Mountain Valley, which lost last Saturday in the first round to Cheyenne Wells.

The Knighted Eagles had little trouble dispatching Walsh in the playoff opener, last Saturday afternoon. After forcing a three-and-out on Walsh’s first possession, the Knighted Eagles took their first possession and marched down and scored on a one-yard Jaret Lichty run. Trevor Frank scored the next two touchdowns on runs of five and 36 yards. Tyler Hase scored the last touchdown of the first quarter on a 12-yard reception from Zeke Craig to go up 30-0 after one quarter. Braden Wedel made 3-4 kicks with the one miss being blocked. 

Lichty scored to start the second quarter on a 49-yard run to make it 38-0 after the Wedel kick. At that point the starting offense was pulled and the second group kept it rolling with Charlie Clapper scoring on runs of 35 and 15 yards to make the score 52-0 at half.

Riggin Williams scored on the first play from scrimmage in the second half to make it 60-0 before Walsh scored the last two touchdowns of the game.

The defense played great the entire game holding Walsh to minimal yards and coming away with two turnovers. Lichty led in tackles with nine, while Frank had eight, Clapper, Williams and Logan Breyer four each, and Alex Cruz, Zeke Craig and Zach Armour two each. Cruz had two fumble recoveries and a sack. Armour also had a sack. Will Witzel and Clayton Craig recorded one tackle.

Offensively the Knighted Eagles completed two of three passing attempts. Zeke Craig was 1-2 for 12 yards and a touchdown. Braden Wedel was 1-1 for five yards. Hase had the 12-yard reception and Breyer the five-yard reception. Lichty led in rushing with five carries for 111 yards and two scores, Frank 71 yards on five carries and two touchdowns, Clapper five carries for 66 yards and two touchdowns, Williams five carries for 76 yards and one touchdown. Cruz two carries for 32 yards and Dalton Armour five carries for 16 yards.