Lincoln high school quarterback J’Maka Love couldn’t help but think about Bellevue pass-rusher Myles Jack as he dropped back to throw.
“How could you not?” Love said.
Jack, a UCLA commit, found Love time and again in the pocket, recording six sacks in the first half before leaving in the third quarter with a leg injury.
But by that time, Bellevue was well on its way to earning a 45-0 3A district playoff victory Friday night, earning a trip to the state playoffs.
Jack was the catalyst on a fierce Wolverines defense that became the first to hold Lincoln scoreless this season. Bellevue ended with 11 sacks.
“Myles is one of the best defensive players in the state, if not the country,” Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff said. “He was a one man wrecking crew tonight.”
It wasn’t just Lincoln’s offense that learned why the Wolverines have been ranked the second-best high school team in the country by both ESPN and Sports Illustrated coming into the game. Bellevue’s wing-T offense torched the Abes for 346 yards. John Nguyen ran for 202 of those to go with three TDs.
Bellevue scored two plays into its opening drive when Nguyen ran 30 yards to the 5, and took the next handoff into the end zone.
The Abes were forced to punt on their next possession but caught a break when Bellevue quarterback Jack Meggs fumbled a snap at his own 37. Love then threw to Alvin Johnson out wide and the receiver was open running toward the end zone, but Johnson’s throw was picked off by Bishard “Budda” Baker.
That would be the closest Lincoln would get to scoring as Love spent a lot of time taking hits from Jack and the rest of the Wolverines’ front-seven
While Bellevue moves on, Lincoln ends its first season under coach Jon Kitna with a 5-5 record.