Nacua uses arm to send Patriots past Wolves

Liberty takes pride in its big offensive line and ability to run the football.

All the better to wear down opposing teams, coach Rich Muraco says.

But when called upon to throw the ball, the Patriots showed they can do that well enough, too.

Junior quarterback Kai Nacua threw for 179 yards and three touchdowns in the first half Thursday, and No. 5 Liberty never looked back en route to a 56-21 win at Basic.

Nacua hurled a 48-yard touchdown pass to Jared Tuilagi on the game’s opening play, and Liberty was running on all cylinders.

“We knew they (Basic) would crowd the line of scrimmage to try to stop the run,” Muraco said. “We hit the big play early to get us going. Our offense played really well tonight. Our season is a journey, with you trying to get better each week.”

The Patriots (5-1, 3-0 Southeast) racked up 310 yards and 15 first downs in the first half en route to scoring 42 points.

“We can throw the ball,” Muraco said. “I know people talk about our running game, but we can throw when needed.”

Nacua threw touchdown passes of 14 yards to Kimo Seau and 25 yards to Jeremy Lagasca in the first half.

The Patriots also managed to rack up 291 rushing yards, with Niko Kapeli leading the way with 212 yards and a pair of scores on 31 carries.

Liberty’s defense did its part, holding Basic’s Antraye Johnson to 25 yards on 10 carries.

Johnson also returned a kickoff 89 yards for a score for the Wolves (3-3, 2-2).