The Bellevue High School football team is one victory away from the ultimate return to glory.
It was a reminder of the Wolverines’ glorious past that got them fired up this week thanks to comments from Marysville-Pilchuck star running back Dylan Carson that fueled them for Saturday’s matchup.
Senior William Wang piled up 182 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 32 carries, and the Bellevue defense was tough as the top-seeded Wolverines laid a 27-3 licking on No. 5 Marysville-Pilchuck on Saturday in the early game of the Class 3A semifinal doubleheader at Memorial Stadium.
Bellevue (13-0), which had state titles in 2012 and 2013 wiped off the record books with off-field sanctions in 2016, got back to the state championship game for the first time since.
“On both sides of the ball, we grind people down,” said Bellevue wingback Ishaan Daniels, who helped put the Tomahawks (11-2) away with a 65-yard TD run around the left end late in the third quarter for a 21-3 lead. “We just dominate and work hard and it all pays off when it’s game time. The thing (Carson) said to ScorebookLive about ‘it’s not the old Bellevue program,’ like that kind of got us fired up before the game.
“And, for me that kind of like got me tuned in, especially being down 3-0 at the beginning of the second half. That just brought the fire right there.”
The Wolverines take on the Kennewick (11-1) vs. Eastside Catholic (9-1) winner in the Class 3A state championship game on Saturday at noon at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. Bellevue goes for its 13th state title, including the two removed with sanctions.
“We knew we could finish the game off strong,” Daniels said. “Bellevue football is back. It’s crazy, because I got to see Bellevue football when it was at its best and when it was at its worst. It’s nice to have brought the program back up. I’m excited.”
Bellevue trailed 3-0 at halftime, but scored 21 of its 27 points in the third quarter to take control. The Wolverines’ wing-T rushing attack accounted for all 330 yards of offense to the Tomahawks’ 204, including minus-4 passing.
“I like to share the rock with my brothers, and let them eat as well,” said Daniels, the Wolverines’ big-play runner. “William runs the ball hard. He’s aggressive. He tries to get any yard he can.”
The last time Marysville-Pilchuck reached the state semifinals was in 2014 and Bellevue ended the Tomahawks’ season 20-10 that year. This year’s semifinal berth was just the school’s third appearance and the school had never advanced to a state final.
“We were just proud of our defense for holding them to just three points,” said Daniels, whose team rushed for 228 yards in the second half. “I just knew our offense could dominate if we worked hard.”
M-P’s Dylan Carson, son of the Tomahawks’ coach, entered the game with 2,565 yards and 46 all-purpose TDs this season, looking to climb up in the state record books. Carson’s 46 TDs ranked him fourth on the state list for a single-season and his 2,565 yards put him 10th on the state’s single-season list.
Bellevue’s defense limited Carson to 103 yards rushing yards on 22 carries.
“It was nice to be up at half, but we weren’t very efficient in the second half,” M-P coach Brandon Carson said. “That probably had more to do with their defense than us.”