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Bellevue after final win for fifth straight 3A football state title | Prep sports news

Bellevue players prepare before a game this season as injured senior captain Ari Morales leads.  - Courtesy photo, Bryan Cooke
Bellevue players prepare before a game this season as injured senior captain Ari Morales leads.
— image credit: Courtesy photo, Bryan Cooke

Throughout the 2012 season, the Bellevue football program has been reaching for the goal of becoming the first group in Washington history to win five consecutive state titles.

With one more win on Friday against Metro League champion Eastside Catholic in the Tacoma Dome (7:30 p.m., ROOT Sports TV and KJR Radio 950 AM and 102.9 FM), the Wolverines can make their "F25" dream a reality.

Like in a regular season that included blowout wins over every in-state foe and a handful of games where the defense and special teams outscored the opposing team, postseason foes have posed little resistance to a program that has climbed to a number two national ranking according to SI.com and MaxPreps.com.

Bellevue has used a dominant defense and consistently assertive offense to outscore Lincoln, Ferndale, Peninsula and Mount Si by a combined score of 150-10. Its starting defense allowed a touchdown to a Washington squad for the first time all year in last week's semi-final win and no team has been able to offer a challenge since the opening week against Texas power Euless-Trinity.

But the Eastside Catholic offense will be one of the most explosive the Wolverines have seen all year, and one that those inside the Crusaders' program say is drastically different from the group Bellevue held scoreless in last year's playoffs. Bellevue head coach Butch Goncharoff said he expects the Crusaders to pose some unique challenges for his group.

"This team is a dual-threat," he said. "They are probably the most complete offense we've seen all year."

The continued development of senior quarterback Trey Reynolds has been perhaps the biggest key to that, as the senior has thrown for nearly 1,800 yards and rushed for 769 more. He has 22 touchdowns through the air and eight more on the ground against only three interceptions.

Hard-nosed junior running back Henry Jarvis has been the counterpunch to Reynolds and has added nearly 900 more yards rushing and 12 scores on the ground.

But after a season where they suffocated the potent running attacks of Bothell, twice stifled the passing game of Mount Si and recorded six shutouts, Bellevue has plenty of confidence. It can also pull from the added motivation of playing in the Tacoma Dome, where they have lost only once in school history and celebrated with a first place trophy nine times since 2001.

Senior running back John Nguyen, who has watched older brothers leave their own legacies in the program, said winning a state title is the only way to cement a legacy in a program so rife with success.

"That is the only thing on our minds," Nguyen said. "Since I was a freshman, especially with it being our last game, we have to come out with a win."

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