POSTGAME THOUGHTS: O’Dea finished with 239 yards rushing, more than I thought. But the Irish won this game with defense. Bellevue finished with only 119 rushing yards on 33 carries, an average of less than 4 yards per carry. The Wolverines simply couldn’t sustain enough drives.
And that’s what O’Dea did. The Irish kept drives going. They went 9 for 12 on third down. O’Dea also converted a crucial fourth down on the third-quarter drive that went 14 plays and almost nine minutes before Donny Lisowski scored the go-ahead touchdown.
So O’Dea moves on. The Irish will play either Skyline or Franklin Pierce, who play at 9 a.m. tomorrow.
INJURY UPDATE: Donny Lisowski said his left knee was fine, and he was running up and down the sideline at the end of the game, but O’Dea didn’t feel the need to bring him back in. He said he should be fine for next week.
FINAL: O’Dea 27, Bellevue 17. Have to go do some work for my story, but I’ll be back with some postgame thoughts.
1:54 left, fourth Q: O’Dea’s backup quarterback, William Aksnes-Shanks runs, for a 1-yard score. It’s 27-17 O’Dea.
1:59 left, fourth Q: It looks like the Wolverines are done. Four straight incompletions, and O’Dea will get the ball back at the Bellevue 1. Great run by Bellevue this season, but it looks like the Irish are moving on.
2:27, fourth Q: O’Dea fumbles the snap on the goal line! Bellevue’s going to get it back with one timeout left at its own 1-yard line.
4:13 left, fourth Q: On fourth-and-one at its own 29, Bellevue goes for a halfback pass. The receiver was wide open, but the pass was underthrown. So O’Dea gets the ball back, still leading 20-17.
6:33 left, fourth Q: Bellevue gets the ball back at its 20 fter O’Dea fails to convert on fourth-and-4. O’Dea QB Donny Lisowski, by the way, has left the game with an injured left leg.
8:12 left, fourth Q: Bellevue fumbles the snap. O’Dea recovers at the Bellevue 26.
9:45 left, fourth Q: Bellevue will start its drive at the 18-yard line. What a game.
Bellevue didn’t get the first down. Peter Nguyen stopped for no gain.
END third Q: O’dea still heads 20-17 and Bellevue has fourth-and-four at the Irish 48.
1:27 left, third Q: O’Dea’s Donny Lisowski runs in a 5-yard keeper to give the Irish back the lead. Three big plays on this drive:
-third-and-13 at the O’Dea 31: Lisowski passes for 16 yards to John Buhrman.
-third-and-two at midfield: Lisowski passes for 8 yards to Johri Fogerson.
-fourth-and-one at the Bellevue 7: Fogerson runs for 2 yards.
The kick was blocked by Bellevue’s Evan Hopkins. O’Dea leads 20-17.
10:00 left, third Q: Bellevue takes back the lead with a 1-yard Ladell Carroll touchdown run. The Wolverines’ Brayden Van Ackeren made the score possible with an 83-yard return on the opening kickoff of the second half. Bellevue leads, 17-14.
Unoffical halftime stats: I’ve got Bellevue with 19 carries for 88 yards, led by Peter Nguyen with 11 carries for 63 yards. Bellevue hasn’t thrown a pass.
O’Dea has 18 carries for 107 yards, with Donny Lisowski accounting for 59 yards on four carries (almost all on that 53-yard touchdown run). Johri Fogerson has 11 carries for 33 yards. Lisowski has also passed for 33 yards, completing 4 of 6 attempts.
So clearly, neither team is anywhere near its average pace on offense. Each defense has made one big mistake, and the other team took advantage for a long touchdown run.
It will be interesting to see if that fumble on Bellevue’s last play of the half is the difference.
:03 left, second Q: Unbelievable! Bellevue, it appears, was simply looking to run out the clock. But an O’Dea defender knocked the ball loose from Nguyen, and Josh Palmer picked the fumble out of the air and ran it back 52 yards for a touchdown. And the Irish take their first lead, 14-10 at the half.
:24 left, second Q: With no timeouts left, Bellevue opts to kick a field goal on first-and-11 with 24 seconds left. Race Sciabica kicks the 28-yarder to put the Wolverines ahead 10-7. And Bellevue recovers the squib kick on the kickoff! But with 15 seconds left, we’ll see what they can do. Bellevue 10, O’Dea 7.
3:57 left, second Q: O’Dea breaks through. QB Donny Lisowski keeps up the middle, then breaks right off a Johri Fogerson block for a 53-yard touchdown run. We’re tied, 7-7.
9:11 left, second Q: O’Dea fumbles at Bellevue 33. Wolverines recover. Still 7-0 Bellevue.
END first Q: There has been little room for O’Dea’s running game so far, and the Irish are struggling for every yard. Field position isn’t helping O’Dea, either. It has started at its own 12 and its own 4. Bellevue? The Wolverines have started at the O’Dea 27 and the O’Dea 47. And that’s why it’s still 7-0 Bellevue as we start the second.
11:11 left, first Q: It only took 49 seconds for the defending champs to get on the board. And Bellevue kicked off! But the Wolverines recovered O’Dea’s fumble on the kickoff, and on the second play of the game, Peter Nguyen ran in for a 23-yard touchdown. 7-0, Bellevue.
PREGAME: Good morning.
If you’re not here at the Dome, you’re not alone. As many predicted, the crowd here for the O’Dea-Bellevue game is not a big one. (One commenter is correct: the O’Dea fans did turn out pretty well; just not a whole lot of casual fans to fill out the stands. Man, tough crowd today.). And I don’t blame you for not being here. I would have loved to sleep for a few more hours, too. But don’t worry. If you couldn’t make it, I’ve got you covered.
You can go back to Wednesday and check my breakdown of this game. One thing’s for certain: Both teams are going to run. A lot. Both average at least 300 yards rushing. They’re about to kick off, so keep checking back for updates.