Here’s an in-depth look at the Arlington vs. Bellevue Class 3A state quarterfinal matchup:
NO. 6 BELLEVUE AT NO. 3 ARLINGTON
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Where: John C. Larson Stadium (Arlington H.S.)
Stream: NFHS Network
The skinny: The third-seeded Eagles host the sixth-seeded Wolverines with a berth in the the 3A state semifinals up for grabs. This is the first meeting at state between the teams.
Bellevue: 8-2; lost to Central Catholic (Oregon) 48-27, lost to Lake Stevens 34-31, beat Liberty (Renton) 35-7, beat Mercer Island 56-21, beat Newport 42-14, beat Juanita 56-7, beat Lake Washington 42-21, beat Hazen 49-0, beat Mountlake Terrace 49-7, beat Monroe 49-7
About the Wolverines: Longtime 3A state power Bellevue is one win away from its third consecutive state semifinal appearance and fifth in the past six postseasons. After two losses to high-caliber opponents to the the season, the KingCo 3A champion Wolverines have rolled eight straight challengers, including hanging 49 unanswered points on Wesco 3A South champion Monroe in the first round last week. Bellevue features an array of options in the run game with its Wing-T offense and had four players rush for at least 67 yards, including two over 100, against the Bearcats last week. Senior Carson Rubin led the way 152 yards on 23 carries and senior Ryken Moon, a three-star recruit according to 247sports.com, added 117 yards and two TDs on just six carries. The Wolverines piled up 429 rushing yards as a team and threw just two passes. Paving the way for the high-powered run game is KingCo 3A lineman of the year junior Willi Wascher and 6-foot-7, 340-pound junior Demetri Manning, a three-star recruit. Bellevue forced five interceptions and didn’t allow an offensive TD in their first-round win. Moon had three interceptions and sophomore AJ Morton had two. The defense, which has allowed more than seven points just once over its past five games, also feature KingCo 3A defensive player of the year linebacker Hogan Hansen, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound four-star prospect committed to the University of Michigan. Hansen also stars as a receiver and blocker at tight end on offense. Senior quarterback Lucas Razore is a Cal Poly commit.
Arlington: 11-0; beat Kamiak 46-8, beat Marysville Getchell 42-7, beat Mount Vernon 52-14, beat Ferndale 46-14, beat Stanwood 42-7, beat Marysville Pilchuck 42-14, beat Oak Harbor 45-6, beat Inglemoor 35-0, beat Monroe 45-18, beat Ballard 54-13, beat Ridgeline 35-13
About the Eagles: Arlington remains unbeaten heading into the state quarterfinal round and is coming off its first win at state in 18 years. The victory was also just the second at state for the program over the past 40 years. The Wesco 3A champion Eagles have remained stingy on defense all season while not allowing an opponent to reach 20 points. Only one team has scored more than two TDs against Arlington, which forced a whopping six turnovers in its victory over Ridgeline last week. The defense has also showed the ability create its own offense with several defensive scores this fall, including three defensive TDs by senior Kobi Spady. Junior Kaid Hunter had two interceptions in last week’s win. After throwing three TD passes and running for two more scores last Friday, Leyton Martin has totaled 41 TDs (35 passing, six rushing). The junior quarterback has 2,532 passing yards and just seven interceptions while completing 68.3% of his passes. Junior Jake Willis, who recently set program records for career receiving yards and receiving TDs, leads a deep corps of pass-catchers with 836 yards and 12 TDs, while Hunter and senior Stevie Balderas both have over 400 yards and a combined eight TDs receiving. Junior Chase Deberry has added eight TD receptions. Junior running back Caleb Reed has rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games and four of the past five. He’s totaled 1,114 yards and 16 TDs while averaging 7.1 yards per carry.
Herald pick: Arlington