Sports

Gridders crushed by Bellevue

Bainbridge quarterback Chris Bell looks for running room during a district playoff game at Bellevue on Friday. The Spartans were eliminated by the two-time defending champs 54-7.   - Courtesy of Chad Coleman/Bellevue Reporter
Bainbridge quarterback Chris Bell looks for running room during a district playoff game at Bellevue on Friday. The Spartans were eliminated by the two-time defending champs 54-7.
— image credit: Courtesy of Chad Coleman/Bellevue Reporter

BELLEVUE - It wasn't the best game by the Bellevue Wolverines.

They had several touchdowns called back for penalties. There were some potential touchdown passes that were dropped.

But even with those mistakes, the running game was dominant enough to end any hopes of an upset by the Bainbridge Spartans, as they lost 54-7 Friday night at Bellevue Memorial Stadium.

It's the second straight season that Bainbridge has been eliminated in district play.

The Spartans opened with a strong drive as they mixed run and pass plays to drive down to the Bellevue 12-yard line. But Will Devereaux's field goal attempt barely went outside of the right post.

"It was a big accomplishment for us to drive the ball 80 yards," senior running back Corey Touchette said. "But then they scored and we lost a little bit of momentum. I don't know what it is, but if we don't get that first score, things go downhill."

Bellevue quickly took the ball down the field and scored, as Dwight Jones ran it in. The extra point was missed.

After a pass by Chris Bell was picked off, Kendrick Van Ackeren threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Elan Richard to capitalize on the turnover. The Spartans also lost starter Logan Dieterich to an ankle injury.

The Wolverines took advantage of another Bell pick as Joey Mangialardi scored with 3:05 in the second quarter. He ran another touchdown in from 30 yards out to put Bellevue up 27-0 at the half.

It became clear it wasn't the Spartans' night when Miles Jack let the ball go right between his legs on the second half kickoff. He recovered it at the one-yard line and ran right through the coverage for a 99-yard return.

After a Touchette fumble, Dakota Jones scored from three yards out. He scored on a 30-yard run on a fourth and 15 late in the third quarter to effectively end the game.

Touchette scored his last touchdown of his prep career on a one-yard plunge in the fourth quarter.

"They just kept running and running," Touchette said. "We didn't bounce back at all."

Despite the loss, Touchette said he's proud of what the team accomplished this season.

"It's hard to lose like that but I'm proud of our winning record," he said.

Head coach Andy Grimm said he was proud of how the players fought all season.

"I've watched these guys since they were little," he said of the players, many who came through the Bainbridge Junior Football Association when they made the switch to play in the Greater Eastside Junior Football Association in 2005. "They didn't have a ton of success at the youth level, so they surprised me as being a team that hung tough all season."

Bainbridge finished its season at 7-3.

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