Bellevue running back John Nguyen was all business after Friday's 42-0 win over Eastside Catholic in the first round of the Class 3A state...
BELLEVUE — Bellevue running back John Nguyen was all business after Friday’s 42-0 win over Eastside Catholic in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs.
The junior, who ran for a workmanlike 71 yards and a touchdown, said the No. 1 Wolverines want to take it one week at a time, one team at a time, no matter who the opponent is.
Sounds great, but next up is the game everyone’s been waiting for: a showdown with Lakes, unbeaten and ranked No. 2.
“We know them well,” Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff said, referring to the Wolverines’ 35-7 win over Lakes in the 2010 state semifinals. “It’s going to be fun. It’s supposed to be fun.”
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Bellevue (11-0) rebounded from an uncharacteristic performance last week against Glacier Peak with one of its most seamless performances of the season. The Wolverines were sharp on both sides of the ball, and scored 21 points in the second quarter to take control of the game.
“We had a bad week last week. It was all over the place,” said senior running back Andy Boulware. “But this week, come the second quarter, we put our heads down and said, ‘Let’s take it to them.’ “
Leading 7-0 after the first period, Bellevue jumped on the Crusaders early in the second with a 50-yard touchdown run by Nguyen, who went untouched through the left side of the line. Boulware made it 21-0 with a 5-yard run late in the quarter, and Miles Jack scored his second touchdown of the game just before the half.
Bellevue ran for 299 yards and got more than 70 yards rushing from three different players. Jack led the charge with 90 yards on nine carries, and Boulware finished with 72 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
Eastside Catholic quarterback Trey Reynolds was 18 of 29 passing for 90 yards. He also ran for 48 yards, but the Crusaders (7-4) struggled to mount any threat against a stout Bellevue defense.
“They’ve got a simple plan and they are physically more talented than most teams in the state and in the country,” said first-year Eastside Catholic coach Jeremy Thielbahr. Bellevue ranks No. 13 in the USA Today Super 25.
For the Wolverines, who have won eight of the past 10 state titles and are seeking their fourth straight championship, it’s time to focus on Lakes and one of the biggest challenges they’ve faced in years.
“It’s a huge game,” said Boulware, “and we’ll be ready for it.”