BELLEVUE – Afraid? No, the Peninsula High Seahawks played like they wanted to be on the football field against four-time defending state champion Bellevue – currently ranked No. 2 in the country by ESPN and Sports Illustrated.
Overwhelmed? At times, sure. But occasionally, the Sea-hawks found room to run, time to pass – and produced a few shockwaves early in a quarterfinal showdown Friday night against the Wolverines.
Impressed? It was hard not to be. The No. 1 Wolverines turned away a promising early Peninsula drive, and went on for a 40-3 victory at Bellevue Memorial Stadium.
While everyone focuses on Bellevue’s vaunted wing-T rushing attack, the Wolverines got a boost from their passing game. Jack Meggs threw for 197 yards and three long touchdowns.
And as taken aback as the Bellevue defense was early, it did not break – and it extended its streak to 11 consecutive games of not allowing a touchdown in the first three quarters.
“Everybody talks about their offense, but I tell you what, you ask any coach who played these guys, they said their defense is one of the best this state has ever seen,” Peninsula coach Ross Filkins said.
And he said that after his own offense put together one of the best opening drives the Wolverines (12-0) had faced.
Behind Jimmy Price’s inside running and some designed quarterback draws for Austin Filkins, the eighth-ranked Seahawks (9-3) drove 67 yards in 12 plays – and had Bellevue on its heels a little bit.
“We figured we were able to come at them right away,” Price said. “People weren’t attacking them – we were going to attack them.”
Yet, as good as the series was, it stalled at the Wolverines’ 18.
Fine, send in All-South Puget Sound League 3A placekicker Sam Shea for a 35-yard field goal try and get an early lead.
“They came out hyped and ready to go,” Wolverines linebacker Myles Jack said. “I don’t want to say we underestimated them, but they came out and set the tone on that (first) drive.
“I knew I had to make a play.”
And the UCLA commit did just that. On Shea’s field goal attempt, Jack broke through the line and got his big paw up to block the kick. Teammate Budda Baker returned it past midfield for the Wolverines.
When it appeared the Sea-hawks got their own stop on the ensuing drive, Bellevue ran a fake punt and Meggs completed a 22-yard pass to Baker down to the Seahawks’ 20. Three plays later, Baker scampered in from 29 yards out for a touchdown, and 7-0 lead.
“That blocked field goal kind of turned the momentum the other way, and it kind of went on from there,” Price said.
If Jack’s block wasn’t enough, the hit he put on Austin Filkins midway through the second quarter was.
The Seahawks went on another long drive – this time 10 plays, and reached the Wolverines’ 9.
Trailing 14-0, they were desperate for a touchdown. On third-and-4, Filkins dropped back to pass. He never saw Jack, who hit him head-on while defensive lineman Shane Bowman blindsided him.
Filkins went down and was out cold with 7 minutes, 26 seconds remaining in the first half. Eventually he would be led back to the sideline with a “significant” concussion, his father said.
“Losing Austin,” the coach said, “was catastrophic.”
And it virtually ended any hope Peninsula had of pulling off an upset.
On the first play from scrimmage of the second half, Meggs went downtown, connecting with Reuben Mwehla on an 80-yard touchdown pass to put the Wolverines up, 30-0, just 12 seconds after the break.Todd Milles: 206-406-2218 email@example.com blogs.thenewstribune.com/preps @ManyHatsMilles