Without star running back David Nguyen, Bellevue’s Wing-T offense was a shell of itself Saturday night in a 14-0 loss to Grant Union of Sacramento in the 2009 NIKE CBA Football Classic at Seattle Memorial Stadium.
Seniors Sean Coley and Freddie Levine split 30 carries for 160 yards, but Nguyen was sorely missed. In a 35-17 loss at back-to-back Class 5A Texas state champion Katy the previous week, Nguyen outgained the rest of the Wolverines with his 92 yards. (Nguyen’s injury is reportedly a broken foot, but we’re waiting for confirmation from Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff.)
Undermanned Bellevue had several of its two-way players limited due to cramps against Katy. Without a chance to talk with Goncharoff last night (due to the game finishing so late and an early deadline), this could be why a few other Wolverine starters — namely seniors Connor Abramson and Will Fields — were either missing or not at full strength against the Pacers.
That wasn’t a healthy scenario for facing an ultra-fast team stocked with Division-1 talent that went undefeated and upset No. 1 Long Beach Poly in the CIF state bowl open division championship last year.
“They’re a little banged up, and playing a couple of big teams back-to-back really wears on you,” said Grant coach Mike Alberghini, who is 18-for-18 in terms of reaching the post-season in his tenure.
Bellevue (1-2), which opens Kingco 3A play Friday at Mount Si against its first in-state opponent since beating Union in the 3A state championship last December, has lost two in a row for the first time in the Goncharoff era (dating back to 2000).
Before anyone assumes that 3A is up for grabs this year, remember that Bellevue has won six of the past eight titles. There’s no reason to think a seventh isn’t in order.
Just ask yourself: what 3A team could go into Katy and then play basically California’s state champion — and be 2-0? Could any of our 3A schools even split those games?
Hopefully, we can all agree on the answers to those two questions. But for those that were at Seattle Memorial for the Late Night Show on Saturday, let’s hear your thoughts about the game, and the 2009 Wolverines.