* CLASS 3A FINALS
No. 2 Eastside Catholic (13-0) vs. No. 1 Bellevue (13-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Tacoma Dome
Coaches: Jeremy Thielbahr is in his second season at Eastside Catholic (20-4 record). Butch Goncharoff is in his 13th season at Bellevue (157-12 record).
Road to Gridiron Classic: Eastside Catholic defeated Kelso in the first round (69-13), Marysville-Pilchuck in the quarterfinals (65-34), and University in the semifinals (42-21). Bellevue defeated Ferndale in the first round (28-0), Peninsula in the quarterfinals (40-3) and Mount Si in the semifinals (37-7).
About the Crusaders: Before anybody starts handing over the 3A trophy to the Wolverines, consider that on paper, this should be Bellevue’s biggest test? For starters, Eastside Catholic’s offensive is very multiple, shifting from spread to pistol – and has explosive-yet-efficient QB Trey Reynolds (112-166, 1,792 yards, 22 TDs, three INT; 769 rushing yards, eight TDs) running it. RB Henry Jarvis (135 carries, 981 yards, 14 TDs) is a bruiser than can test the middle of the Wolverines’ defense. And Eastside Catholic’s front seven, led by DT Deion Fetui, is physical and fairly athletic to limit Bellevue’s big plays across the board. And expect to see S Peter Kimble, the Metro League’s top defender, play closer to the line of scrimmage, too. The defense has caused 11 sacks and nine turnovers in the state playoffs.
About the Wolverines: These guys carry themselves with such “swag” – like you would expect from one of the nation’s top teams. They bring in a 39-game winning streak. They are 43-3 under Goncharoff in the 3A playoffs. They are 9-0 in title games. And to add a little bit of juice to their wing-T rushing attack, Bellevue got talented junior Budda Baker heavily involved in a rotation with RBs John Nguyen (1,205 yards, 18 TDs) and Myles Jack. With all that the Wolverines have on offense – oh yeah, teams have to try and score against this defense, led by Jack (21 sacks) and LB Sean Constantine. These teams met in the opening round last year, won 42-0 by Bellevue.
TNT pick: Bellevue, 35-17.
“Score Czar”/Computer pick: Bellevue, 31-6.