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Bellevue opens title defense tonight | Prep football preview
One word can sum up the mindset of the Bellevue football team as it prepares for a visit from Glacier Peak.
The Wolverines, which are making an 11th consecutive trip to the 3A state tournament and 12th in the past 13 seasons, will have to deal with a wide open Grizzlies' offense and a defense that has familiarity with Bellevue's patented Wing-T rushing attack by virtue of coaching connections on the two staffs.
"I think Glacier Peak is as good a three-seed as there is in the state," Bellevue head coach Butch Goncharoff said. "It's single elimination and you've got to get your kids to refocus."
Offensively, the Grizzlies are led by quarterback David Linney, who has thrown for nearly 1,400 yards and 22 touchdowns against six interceptions. He has also rushed for four scores. The 5'11", 180 pound senior's most productive game came in a 27-20 loss to Mount Vernon, when he completed 21-39 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns.
But after facing top-flight passing attacks against Oaks Christian and Skyline, the Wolverines are confident in their ability to contain Linney and the Glacier Peak offense.
"We've been working on coverages all year," senior defensive back Connor Foreman said. "If we shut down the pass and make them run, we'll be in good shape."
Founded in 2008, Glacier Peak's only state appearance in football came a year later and ended with a 34-7 loss to Goncharoff and the eventual state champion Wolverines. That loss remains fresh in the minds of the Grizzlies and especially for a group of seniors that are the first class to experience all four years at the Snohomish school.
"It's obviously exciting for them," Glacier Peak head coach Rory Rosenbach said. "They want to go out on a high note and continue doing the things they can to take the program to the next level."
Bellevue players know full well the energy the Grizzlies will bring, but also have their own legacy to uphold with no player on the current team ever having experienced anything short of a 3A state title.
"You get that little extra because we could be done after one game," Foreman said. "It's exciting to get a chance to go for our fourth straight championship."
The winner will move on to face either Oak Harbor or Eastside Catholic, which also face off in a first round matchup.