No. 1 Bellevue and No. 8 Liberty were the KingCo 3A’s top-scoring teams, each averaging at least 36 points per game. But they were also the league’s two best defenses, and I won’t go so far to say Bellevue’s defense was definitely better in a 24-7 win tonight. But it do better keeping Liberty out of the end zone.
It took advantage of four big plays — two big fumble recoveries by Leonard Wolfork, and an interception and blocked kick by Jamal Atofau — and held Liberty’s rushing game to 108 yards. In particular, excellent runner Greg Ericksen couldn’t find anything up the middle against the Wolverines.
There might be something to how many of these kind of games Bellevue has played in through the years, and how that translates to making the right plays. After all, the Wolverines didn’t have a single turnover.
For as many injuries as Bellevue’s had in its running game, its defense remains one of the state’s best. At the same time, Liberty really showed something in the second half tonight. Perhaps you can chalk the first half up to a sophomore quarterback playing his first game at Bellevue. But in the second half, Trey Wheeler really impresses with 202 passing yards and a touchdown. I’m sure the Wolverines — and the rest of KingCo 3A/2A — aren’t looking forward to seeing him again.
So Bellevue clinched the league championship, and with Juanita’s loss to Mount Si, Liberty is also in for the week 10 district crossover games. But second place will be on the line when the Patriots play Mount Si next week.