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Zyrus Fiaseu runs wild as Liberty returns to form

Zyrus Fiaseu has multiple Power Five offers to play linebacker, and all signs point to him playing that position at the college level.

In the interim, the Liberty sophomore makes a pretty good high school running back.

Fiaseu blew by Green Valley to the tune of 235 yards and four touchdowns in leading the host Patriots to a 45-19 victory on Friday night.

“We looked at his future in college and beyond, and it’s probably at linebacker, but we just need him at running back,” Liberty coach Rich Muraco said.

Fiaseu has scholarship offers from Oregon, Nebraska and UNLV at outside linebacker, but Liberty (2-4, 1-1 Southeast League) transitioned him to feature back when it realized his talent. The Patriots even moved him off linebacker, making him an offensive-only player.

In the first quarter alone, Fiaseu had 91 yards and touchdown runs of 28 and 17 yards. He took the first play of the second half 61 yards for a score, then returned to his residence in the end zone with a 15-yard scramble on a direct snap with 11:26 remaining in the fourth.

“It’s all about being a team player,” Fiaseu said. “If I gotta step up, I gotta step up and do what’s best for the team.”

Other than two big chunk plays that led to Green Valley touchdowns, the defense held the Gators (5-2, 1-2) in check.

Noah Hawthorne broke loose for 38 yards in the first quarter, then finished the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Garrett Castro threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Reyden Morett with 2:37 to play in the half, pulling the Gators to within 22-13 at halftime. He also had a 50-yard TD toss to Charles Milana in the third quarter that brought the Gators closer, at 29-19.

But in the end, Fiaseu and the Patriots were too much. The Patriots scored two touchdowns and kicked a field goal in the fourth to pull away.

The Patriots had not played since Sept. 21 because of a bye and a forfeit but picked up right where they left off. The running game was superb, averaging 9.9 yards per rush between Fiaseu’s 22 carries and five other runners.

“The feeling of our team, the vibe we got from our team, just the environment we have, it’s just great,” Fiaseu said. “Going on, you’ll see what we have in store for you guys. And that’s how it’ll be.”

More preps: Follow all of our Nevada Preps coverage online at nevadapreps.com and @NevadaPreps on Twitter.

Contact Justin Emerson at jemerson@reviewjournal.com or (702) 387-2944. Follow @J15Emerson on Twitter.

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