TACOMA – Bellevue is going to need to make more room in its trophy case. Heck, it might need to buy a bigger one.
The Wolverines completed another chapter in their unprecedented domination of high-school football in Washington state on Friday night with a 52-20 win over Eastside Catholic to capture the 3A championship for a sixth consecutive season and the 11th time in 13 years.
It was the second straight year Bellevue beat Eastside Catholic in the Gridiron Classic.
“For my class, this is 56-0 — we didn’t lose a single game in high school (including freshman and JV games), and that’s one feat that probably won’t ever be broken,” senior Timmy Haehl said. “It’s a team victory. It’s no one person or no two guys, no class in general. It’s everyone.”
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The championship game was once again a showcase for the Wolverines (14-0), and Haehl took center stage at the Tacoma Dome. The Harvard commit was a perfect 7 for 7 passing, racked up a team-high 207 total yards, accounted for four touchdowns, intercepted two passes and forced a fumble.
In other words, he did everything, and then a little more.
“We kind of bottled him up for a while (this year); we didn’t have to use him very much,” Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff said of Haehl. “It was great. He did a great job. He’s a tremendous athlete, and he needed it tonight. We needed every bit of it.”
Haehl set the tone early. Eastside Catholic (11-3) used two big passing plays to reach the Bellevue 18 on the game’s first drive, but Haehl intercepted Harley Kirsch’s pass in the end zone to thwart the Crusaders.
Six plays later, Haehl threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Ross Conners that put Bellevue up 7-0 midway through the first quarter — a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
The Bellevue defense kept a dangerous Kirsch from getting comfortable in the pocket. The sophomore threw for a combined 685 yards the previous two games, but threw two interceptions and twice fumbled the ball away on Friday.
Eastside Catholic hoped that junior running back Henry Jarvis, out since Nov. 8 with a separated AC joint in his right shoulder, would give the offense a spark. Jarvis started the game, but came out holding his shoulder in the first half and wore an ice pack on his shoulder with no pads in the second half.
“This is the third time we played them in three years in the playoffs, twice in state,” Goncharoff said. “We knew we had to change some things around.”
Bellevue offensive lineman Henry Roberts left the game in the first half with a right arm injury and was taken to the emergency room. The team planned to bring the trophy to him at the hospital.
Roberts’ injury came during a frenzied final few minutes of the first half when Bellevue scored three touchdowns in a span of 3:20 to take control of the game. Haehl capped the flurry of scoring with a 14-yard touchdown run with 20 seconds left in the half that put Bellevue up 35-7 and essentially put the game out of reach.
“They should be national champions again,” Eastside Catholic coach Jeremy Thielbahr said. “That’s a great ballclub. They’ve got to be starting to get bored.”
|Bellevue’s biggest blowouts|
|The Wolverines’ win over the Crusaders tied the second-largest margin of victory the Wolverines have had in a state championship game.|
|2010||Def. Kamiakin, 38-0||38|
|2013||Def. Eastside Catholic, 52-20||32|
|2012||Def. Eastside Catholic, 35-3||32|
|2008||Def. Union, 35-6||29|
|2001||Def. Lynden, 42-15||27|