Call this Bellarmine Prep defense unorthodox all you want.
But it’s working.
In a matchup of two of the South Sound’s most illustrious football programs, the Lions held Lakes to 252 total yards of offense, and 74 of those came on the Lancers’ final offensive play of the game with 1 minute, 5 seconds remaining.
Bellarmine Prep, ranked No. 9 in 4A, cruised to a 34-7 victory on Friday against the Lancers, who entered ranked No. 8 in 3A.
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The Lions have won their first two games by a combined score of 83-7.
“Our defensive staff does a great job of being creative and putting guys in the right spots to be successful — no matter what it looks like,” Bellarmine coach Brian Jensen said. “It’s a little unorthodox, but it works for us.”
Here’s what it looks like:
There’s the “Lion” D, which has two defensive linemen and five linebackers. Then there’s “Base,” which is three down linemen and five linebackers.
“I’ve never seen that,” said Lakes coach Dave Miller, who is in his 17th season as the Lancers’ head coach. “It’s definitely something you never see.
“But we watched it on film. We thought we had to zone block and keep it simple because you don’t know where they are coming from. But it was tough, and some of that we contributed to, like not running the right way on one play.”
The tone was set from the first drive.
Bellarmine forced Lakes to turn it over on downs, then Lions quarterback Christian Moore — on his birthday, no less — found Dominic Golob for a 25-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-7.
That was Bellarmine’s longest TD play. Moore and running back Matt Money spent the rest of the game methodically marching the Lions offense down the field.
“This day was awesome,” said Moore, the 6-foot-5 senior who completed 11 of 19 passes for 166 yards. “I got a lot of love and support from the fans, parents and everybody telling me happy birthday. It was awesome to get a birthday win today.”
Money ran for 91 yards and three touchdowns for Bellarmine (2-0), which beat Rogers, 49-0, in its opener last week.
The Lancers’ first-half drives resulted in a turnover on downs, an interception by Bellarmine’s Christian Brown and two punts.
“We’re just going after it, play after play,” Bellarmine junior linebacker Chase Chandler said. “So far I’ve been really impressed with everything.”
Lakes and Bellarmine entered with a combined 38 state tournament appearances in the history of their programs.
Cody Roe, who moved back to Lakewood this past offseason after attending Killeen High School in Texas, started at quarterback for Lakes because Jaylen Antoine was out with an injury. But then Roe went down with a knee injury on Lakes’ first drive of the second half and didn’t return.
The Lancers (0-2) will play a 3A school next week — hosting Wilson at Harry Lang Stadium — after opening with 4A schools Eastlake and Bellarmine.
“We are a young team and we are going to be a work in progress,” Miller said. “We got beat up tonight pretty good. Right now we’re preaching to get better every day and every practice, and, in the end, they have to want to.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
BP – Dominic Golob 25 pass from Christian Moore (Bryce Bendixen kick)
BP – Matt Money 8 run (Bendixen kick)
BP – Money 3 run (Bendixen kick)
BP – Money 2 run (kick failed)
BP – Czarshay Thomas 10 run (Bendixen kick)
L – Aamaree Harrington 74 run (Liam Bladow kick)
RUSHING — L: Aamaree Harrington 4-89; Cody Roe 4-41; Dedrian Milligan 1-23. BP: Matt Money 21-91; Czarshay Thomas 8-16.
PASSING — L: Cody Roe 6-13-1-69. BP: Christian Moore 11-19-0-166.
RECEIVING — L: Dedrian Milligan 2-31; C.J. Cooper 1-24. BP: Christian Brown 6-82, Thomas Connelly 4-59, Dominic Golob 1-25.