Bellevue’s Joby Schneider runs the ball up field against Eastside Catholic. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ault Justus

Bellevue’s Joby Schneider runs the ball up field against Eastside Catholic. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ault Justus

Bellevue’s season ends in 3A state football semifinals

Eastside Catholic wins, advances to final.

Bellevue High’s football squad was one win away from treading on the Tacoma Dome turf at the 3A state championship game, but top-ranked Eastside Catholic cut the Wolverines’ journey short on Saturday at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell.

In the semifinals, the Crusaders (11-1) handed Bellevue its first loss of the season, 41-3. A 13th victory wasn’t meant to be as the locals finished their season with a 12-1 record.

Bellevue battled just as it did all season, but couldn’t register a comeback win this week.

“Our guys have shown a lot of heart. We didn’t get chippy on them, we played with good sportsmanship. We finished our game the only way we knew how — be physical. I really love these guys, I wouldn’t wanna play with anyone else,” said senior Jack Kruger, who made several big stops on defense.

Bellevue snagged three interceptions, two by senior Jalen Love and one by junior Joby Schneider, who also ran the ball strong on offense. There were four fumbles during the game with three recoveries by Eastside Catholic and one by Bellevue.

Eastside Catholic’s first recovery amounted to an 80-yard return for a touchdown by Andrew Pederson with 6:04 left in the first quarter.

Bellevue’s Jed Michael cut the lead to 7-3 with a 33-yard field with 9:51 left in the second quarter, but that was all of the Wolverines’ scoring for the day.

After Love broke from Bellevue’s final postgame huddle, he noted: “No matter the situation, we’re a band of brothers over at Bellevue and we’ll always fight for each other. We’re just ready to build for the next generations coming up and just know that this is always a family here.”

In the huddle, head coach Michael Kneip said that he’s proud of his players and coaching staff. They are first-class people, the coach said in an interview a few minutes earlier.

Kneip tipped his cap to a talented Eastside Catholic team and praised his runners for racking up close to 200 yards.

Schneider said this season the Wolverines worked hard, never gave up and they’ll be his friends for the rest of his life.

“This team was special because no matter what coaching staff we had, we were the same players, still had the same mentality. These seniors went through three different coaching staffs, so just for them to continue to fight, no matter what (was great),” Schneider added.

Kruger said he’ll continue to work hard at whatever he does because of what he experienced as a member of the Bellevue football program.

“We were running hills in the summer at 2 a.m., we had weights at 6 a.m. and that’s the kind of work ethic we need, all of us, for the rest of our lives,” he said.

Eastside Catholic’s Gio Ursino scored on a 6-yard run; DJ Rogers caught TD passes of 2 yards and 7 yards; Gee Scott Jr. hauled in a 10-yard TD pass; and Derek Ray scored on a 5-yard run.

Wolverine Alex Reid rolls through the middle against Eastside Catholic. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ault Justus

Wolverine Alex Reid rolls through the middle against Eastside Catholic. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ault Justus

More in Sports

Epp and Lopez shine at Mat Classic XXXII

Bellevue Christian’s DeAunte Epp took fifth and Newport’s Keir Lopez placed sixth… Continue reading

Totems fly past competition to win first-ever state swim title

The Sammamish boys swim and dive team won its first 2A state… Continue reading

Newport girls set to take on Issaquah tonight at districts

Playing aggressive basketball every single quarter will be a vital part of… Continue reading

Local gymnasts qualify for state meet

Bellevue-area gymnasts competed at the 2A/3A District 2 gymnastics meet on Feb.… Continue reading

Bellevue girls rally past Interlake

Wolverines erased double-digit halftime lead to advance in loser-out game.

Bellevue-area wrestlers qualify for state

Four Bellevue-area wrestlers qualified for the Mat Classic on Feb. 21-22 at… Continue reading

Bellevue boys keep season alive with win over Lake Washington

The Wolverines booked a spot in district tournament with 48-40 win on Feb. 11.

Saints fall to Islanders in KingCo championship

Interlake boys lost 61-36 to Mercer Island in the 3A KingCo tournament championship on Feb. 11.

Green resigns as head football coach at Bellevue Christian

Todd Green will leave the program to focus on family after seven seasons as head coach.

Most Read