By David Krueger Herald Writer
BELLEVUE — Glacier Peak’s football team faced a tough — and familiar — playoff opponent Friday night.
Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, it ended with a familiar result.
Playing No. 1-ranked Bellevue in the playoffs for the third time in six years, Glacier Peak once again fell to the 3A juggernaut. The Wolverines routed the Grizzlies 48-6 in the first round of the 3A state tournament at Bellevue High School.
“They are the real deal,” Glacier Peak head coach Rory Rosenbach said. “They have great athletes. Fantastic athletes. As good as any athletes I’ve seen in the state, compiled into one school — (they’re) pretty tough to beat.”
Bellevue, the Associated Press prep football poll’s No. 1 3A team in the state all season, has scored at least 38 points in each of it’s game in 2013. The Wolverines, winners of 10 of the past 12 3A state championships, are also a highly ranked team nationally, checking in at No. 12 in the CBS MaxPreps Xcellent 25.
The win was the Wolverines’ 51st consecutive victory — the fourth longest streak in the country.
“Most of these kids have been here before,” Rosenbach said. “The intimidating thing is how fast they are and how big they are when the game starts. But I don’t think we were intimidated at all. I think it was just a matter of them executing a little better than us, which they do to most teams.”
The Wolverines (11-0 overall), from the Kingco league, came out running from the start. On Bellevue’s second offensive play, Max Richmond rushed 44 yards for a touchdown. He added a 47-yard score later in the half.
Bellevue running back/safety Budda Baker, widely regarded as the top recruit in Washington State, looked the part Friday. Baker had six carries for 72 yards and two touchdowns and an interception on defense before sitting out the second half.
He also returned a Glacier Peak punt from the one yard line out to the 30.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen him on offense,” Rosenbach said. “When we played against them a couple years ago he was just on defense. He is good. He is really good.”
Bellevue’s Max Richmond had seven carries for 115 yards and two touchdowns and Sam Richmond added 14 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown — all in the first half.
Glacier Peak (8-3) did have its bright moments in the game. It held Bellevue quarterback Timmy Haehl to one completion for 13 yards in four attempts in the first half and tackled Baker for a one-yard loss in the second quarter. Another completion that was a 46-yard touchdown toss to Baker was brought back for a penalty
The Grizzlies also stuffed Bellevue on a 4th-and-8 run in third quarter and forced a Wolverines’ punt in the fourth.
But perhaps the biggest accomplishment was the six points Glacier Peak put up on a one-yard touchdown run by Colton Bunt in the fourth quarter.
“Absolutely (there are small victories). You keep battling,” Rosenbach said. “That last touchdown they had before the half — now they got a touchdown — but they sure had to battle. That was about a 15-play drive. We got a stop more than once.”
Glacier Peak quarterback Brady Southard was 12-for-19 for 99 yards and had two interceptions in the game. After struggling in the first half — along with the rest of the Grizzlies’ offense which had 41 total yards in the half — Southard got into a rhythm toward the end of the third quarter going 6-for-7 for 73 yards on a drive that culminated in Bunt’s score.
Bunt, a freshman, was starting for the injured Matthew Darling, who was unable to play. It was just Bunt’s second varsity game, with his debut coming in last week’s 28-3 quad-district win over Wilson.
Both running backs return to Glacier Peak next season giving Rosenbach optimism for the Grizzlies’ future.
“Matt’s pretty banged up,” Rosenbach said. “He’s having a real hard time. He gutted it out and tried to practice but he was hurt and Colton came up and earned it. He did a great job. I’m proud of him. I’m excited for the future.”
Rosenbach said he is incredibly proud of his large senior class, which continued to battle all season long despite losing many key players to graduation after last season. After the game, he announced to the team, “I have a lot more guys to hug, we’re going to be here awhile” in the locker room as he consoled the Glacier Peak seniors.
“These guys went 9-0 as freshmen and it was like, ‘Hey we’re going to be all right,’” Rosenbach said. “Those guys stuck together and stuck it out. That was exciting. That’s what I’ll remember.”
The Glacier Peak coach said despite Bellevue’s reputation and pedigree, the Grizzlies weren’t intimidated or scared to play the Wolverines.
In fact, they were excited for the challenge.
“You just have to sell it to them that we can win and we believed we could win,” Rosenbach said. “It didn’t happen, but you know what? I’m proud of them. Those guys battled and played hard through four quarters. They didn’t back down, they didn’t roll over or give up they kept battling and kept fighting.
“It didn’t come out our way but I’m proud of what these guys accomplished this year and I’m proud of the men they’re becoming,” Rosenbach continued. “We can walk out of here with our heads held high.”
At Bellevue H.S.
Glacier Peak 0 0 0 6 — 6
Bellevue 21 13 7 7 — 48
B–Max Richmond 44 run (Kian Khodamoradi kick)
B–Budda Baker 34 run (Khodamoradi kick)
B–Baker 20 run (Khodamoradi kick)
B–Max Richmond 47 run (kick failed)
B–Sam Richmond 1 run (Khodamoradi kick)
B–Jamal Thomas 1 run (Khodamoradi kick)
GP–Colton Bunt 1 run (pass failed)
B–Thomas 1 run (Max Ebstyne)
Records–Glacier Peak 8-3 overall. Bellevue 11-0.