Lincoln High school quarterback J’Maka Love couldn’t help but think about Bellevue pass-rusher Myles Jack as he dropped back to throw.
“How could you not?” Love said.
Jack, a UCLA commit, found Love time and again in the pocket, recording six sacks in the first half before leaving in the third quarter with a leg injury.
But by that time, host Bellevue was well on its way to earning a 45-0 Class 3A district playoff victory Friday night and earning a trip to state.
Jack was the catalyst on a fierce Wolverines defense that became the first to hold Lincoln scoreless this season. Bellevue finished with 11 sacks.
“Myles is one of the best defensive players in the state, if not the country,” Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff said. “He was a one man wrecking crew tonight.”
It wasn’t just Lincoln’s offense that learned why the Wolverines have been ranked the second-best high school team in the country by both ESPN and Sports Illustrated coming into the game. Bellevue’s wing-T offense torched the Abes for 346 yards. John Nguyen ran for 202 of those to go with three touchdowns.
Abes’ first-year coach Jon Kitna knew a lot of things needed to go right if his team would prevent Bellevue from moving on and earning a shot at its 10th state championship in 12 years.
“They were every bit of what we thought they would be,” Kitna said. “They are a well-oiled unit.”