Game Recap below
Wolverines Advance, Pilchuck’s Memorable Season Ends
By Steven Dion
Bellevue is no stranger to the Tacoma Dome and the juggernaut from the east side of Lake Washington will play in the Gridiron Classic for the 11th time in the last 13 seasons. To reach December football, Goncharoff’s guys would square off against Marysville-Pilchuck. The Tomahawks have overcome major adversity on and off the field these past few months so this game was emotionally charged in many ways. The sea of red on the MP sideline was enormous and the support was felt by everyone at the Tacoma Dome. But there was a game to be played, how did it shake out?
The smothering defense of Bellevue made a statement early by stuffing Marysville on their first few possessions. Likewise, the Tomahawks stuffed a run-heavy attack of BHS and helped keep the contest scoreless after one quarter. However, the first play of the second was a one-yard touchdown run by Sam Richmond to close a long drive for Bellevue. Pilchuck found their offensive groove by eating away a huge chunk of the frame by moving the chains and setting up Sebastian Navar for a 24 yard field goal. In the waning moments of the half, Bellevue drove quickly and efficiently down the field to retain their seven point lead as Kian Khodamorad knocked home a field goal from 28 yards out to close the first half of play. At the break, M-P head coach Brandon Carson told his team, “24 minutes, lay it on the line.”
Pilchuck’s ability to keep the score within one possession and feeding off the crowd helped take their defensive effort to another level. Bellevue was held scoreless in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Pilchuck offense came alive as Austin Joyner and Killian Page barreled through defenders to keep a long drive going into Wolverine territory. Drew Hatch who finished with 11 tackles on defense was the recipient of a 14 yard strike from Erik Lind to tie the ballgame at ten apiece. The Pilchuck sideline erupted as their resilient squad was battling toe-to-toe with the best. With one quarter left, the game was up for grabs.
The Bellevue coaching staff gathered the team together to refocus and they responded accordingly. BHS quarterback Justus Rogers found success in running the football later in the contest and set his team up for another redzone opportunity. Richmond rumbled through defenders en route to a two yard touchdown run despite the ball popping loose at the end of the run. Down a score, Pilchuck needed a response. Their offense stalled and were forced to punt. Bellevue drove down the field quickly, but were stopped from recording a likely back-breaking touchdown. Khoadamorad set up for a field goal. Off the post!
But wait, a flag was down! Running into the kicker. The Wolverines would knock it home this time to go up by ten. In the final moments of desperation, MP fumbled the ball and Bellevue would hold on to win. Incredible support by both sides as the entire Bellevue team saluted the Marysville faithfaul. Asked what Carson was going to tell his team after the game…”I love them.”
The FinalScore – Bellevue 20, Marysville-Pilchuck 10.
Sam Richmond- 29 carries, 99 yards, 2 touchdowns
Austin Joyner- 16 carries, 90 yards