At 5-feet-9, 150 pounds, junior Bryce Bendixen is the smallest regular on the Bellarmine Prep football roster.
And he came through in the biggest moment Friday night.
The Lions placekicker rifled a 34-yard field goal through the uprights in overtime, handing Bellarmine Prep a 16-13 victory over eighth-ranked Olympia at Memorial Field in Tacoma.
Bellarmine Prep’s wins sets up an all-or-nothing showdown with Gig Harbor next week for the No. 1 seed from the 4A Narrows League to the West Central District playoffs.
“You know, this is exciting. This was our third overtime game,” Lions coach Brian Jensen said. “Our guys play for four quarters — or for whatever it takes.”
The Bears had plenty of chances, especially on their final 17-play march to the Lions’ 13. But it ended with Ahmad Lewis’ interception in the end zone with 2:01 to go.
Lewis then nearly gave the game to the Bears when he backtracked on an ill-advised return, stepping into his own end zone twice before getting to the Bellarmine Prep 1-yard line.
And against a heavy rush, Bendixen was able to get off a punt with 19 seconds remaining.
Olympia had the football first in overtime, but coughed it up when fullback Clay Markoff fumbled near the goal line. Isaiah Conner recovered it for the Lions.
“We couldn’t get out of own way,” Olympia coach Bill Beattie said. “In big games like this, you can’t make those kinds of mistakes we made tonight.”
Facing a fourth-and-3 from the Bears’ 18, Bendixen was called on for the field goal attempt.
Olympia first iced him with a timeout.
Then his own team did by bringing the offense back on the field to try to get the Bears to go offside to get the five yards needed for a first down.
“I knew I had to stay warm,” Bendixen said.
And what was going through his mind a few seconds before making his game-winning field goal?
“I was thinking, ‘This is exactly like practice,’” Bendixen said. “It was nothing different.”
The Bears outgained Bellarmine Prep, 380-197.
Lewis finished with 92 yards on 30 carries and a touchdown.
At Gig Harbor 51, Yelm 14: Martin Brazier rushed for four touchdowns, and the third-ranked Tides did not have to sweat out a close game in back-to-back weeks with a win at Roy Anderson Field in Purdy.
Quarterback Davis Alexander had a huge night for Gig Harbor — 395 passing yards, a pair of touchdowns and 87 rushing yards.
At Bethel 39, Spanaway Lake 8: JonJon Taimanglo opened the game with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdowns, and the Braves never looked back in getting a win at Art Crate Field.
Bethel and Graham-Kapowsin meet next Friday for the division’s No. 1 seed to the district playoffs.
At Curtis 55, Emerald Ridge 14: Donnell Diego rushed for 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and the Vikings rolled to a victory in University Place.
Elijah Piper highlighted a big Vikings defensive effort with three first-half sacks.
Beamer 16, at Federal Way 6: On the eighth try, the Titans finally got a victory over their cross-town rivals at Memorial Stadium.
Isaiah Lard helped Beamer overcome a 6-0 deficit with two second-half touchdowns. The Titans finished with 214 rushing yards.
Kentlake 36, at Kentwood 21: Good thing the No. 9 Conquerors clinched the divisional title last week, because they were handled by the Falcons at French Field.
Four Kentlake players scored rushing touchdowns — including a pair of scores by Andrew Dixon in the fourth quarter that put the game away.
Lakes 42, at Enumclaw 21: Andrew Bostic and Elijah McMillon each scored two touchdown runs, and the Lancers stayed in the hunt for the No. 2 seed to the district playoffs with a win at Pete’s Pool.
At Shelton 24, Mount Tahoma 6: Tailback Colton Paller threw for a score, ran for another and rushed for 135 yards in a victory at Highclimber Stadium.
Franklin Pierce 54, at Clover Park 8: The Cardinals racked up 431 total yards, including 274 passing yards from Willie Patterson in a victory at Harry E. Lang Stadium in Lakewood.
Isaiah Cubean had a big first quarter for Franklin Pierce with a 23-yard touchdown run, and returning a fumble 35 yards for another score.
At Steilacoom 61, White River 17: The Sentinels scored five touchdowns in the second quarter to break away from the Hornets in Steilacoom.
Quarterback Anthony Leiato passed for 171 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for another 184 yards and a pair of scores. He had touchdown runs of 90 and 57 yards in the second quarter.
At Eatonville 48, Elma 35: Three third-quarter touchdowns by the Cruisers broke open a close game, and Eatonville kept its playoff hopes alive with a victory at B.W Lyon Field.
Tucker Poil’s 72-yard scoring scamper highlighted the offensive outburst. Eatonville led 35-21 after three quarters.