Afraid? No, and the Peninsula High Seahawks played like they actually wanted to be on the football field of the four-time defending state champion – one currently ranked No. 2 in the country.
Overwhelmed? At times – sure. But in spots, the Seahawks found room to run, time to pass – and sent a few shockwaves early in their quarterfinal showdown Friday night against the Bellevue High Wolverines.
Impressed? It was hard not to be. The No. 1 Wolverines turned away a promising early Peninsula drive, and went on for a 40-3 victory at Bellevue Memorial Stadium.
While everyone talks about Bellevue’s vaunted wing-T rushing attack, the Wolverines got a boost from their passing game. Jack Meggs threw for 197 and three long touchdowns.
And as taken aback as the Wolverines’ defense was early, it did not break – and extended its streak to 11 consecutive games in not allowing a touchdown in the first three quarters.
“Everybody talks about their offense, but I tell you what, you ask any coach who played these guys, they said their defense is one of the best this state has ever seen,” Peninsula coach Ross Filkins said.
And he said that after his own offense put together one of the best opening drives the Wolverines had faced.
Behind Jimmy Price’s inside running, and some designed quarterback draws for Austin Filkins, the eighth-ranked Seahawks drove 67 yards in 12 plays – and had Bellevue on its heels a little bit.
“We figured we were able to come at them right away,” Price said. “People weren’t attacking them – we were going to attack them.”
Yet, as good as the series was, it stalled at the Wolverines’ 18. Fine – send in all-South Puget Sound League 3A placekicker Sam Shea for a 35-yard field goal, and get an early lead.
“They came out hyped and ready to go,” Wolverines linebacker Myles Jack said. “I don’t want to say we underestimated them, but they came out and set the tone on that fast drive.
“I knew I had to make a play.”
And the UCLA commit did just that. On Shea’s field goal attempt, he busted through the line and got his big paw up to block the kick. Teammate Budda Baker returned it past midfield for the Wolverines.
Even when it appeared the Seahawks got their own stop, Bellevue ran a fake punt as Meggs completed a 22-yard pass to Baker down to the Seahawks’ 20. Three plays later, Baker scampered in from 29 yards out for a touchdown, and 7-0 Bellevue lead.
“That blocked field goal kind of turned the momentum the other way, and it kind of went on from there,” Price said.
Indeed, it did.
And if the Myles’ block wasn’t enough, the hit he put on Austin Filkins midway through the second quarter was.
Again, the Seahawks went on another long drive – this time 10 plays, and reached the Wolverines’ 9.
Trailing 14-0, they needed a touchdown. On third-and-4, Filkins dropped back for a pass. He never saw Jack, who hit him head-on, and defensive lineman Shane Bowman blindsided him from the back.
Filkins went down and was out cold at the 7:26 mark of the quarter. Eventually he would be led back to the sidelines with a “significant” concussion, his father said.
And it virtually ended any hopes Peninsula had of pulling off an upset.