Breaking down Bellevue

By Kevin Anthony, Herald staff writer December 3, 2010 

TACOMA -- When most teams break out the "R" word, you figure a solid season is finishing over .500.

Maybe the kids shake off the green late in the season, make a run to the playoffs, get ousted in the early rounds and call it a success, knowing that better days are ahead.

Bellevue has a different standard.

The Wolverines (12-1) replaced 19 starters from last season. But here they are, back where they have been seven times in the last decade, playing for the 3A state crown against Kamiakin (13-0) at 4 p.m. today at the Tacoma Dome.

They run the same wing-T offense they always have, and run it close to perfection.

Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin said the key will be not to make mistakes and understand Bellevue is going to pop some plays, but not get flustered when it does.

The Wolverines started slow -- for them -- which is to say they won a tight 20-6 opener against Union before losing 28-21 to 4A finalist Skyview.

They have had a few more close calls than in recent years -- 21-14 over Juanita, 28-21 over Mount Si and 23-20 over Liberty.

However, Bellevue came back and beat Liberty 35-0 in the state quarterfinals. The Wolverines have yet to be challenged in the playoffs, with a 58-14 win over Timberline in the first round and a 35-7 romp over Lakes in the semifinals.

Their offensive line is big, anchored by Boise State recruit Marcus Henry (6-foot-4, 275 pounds) and Jake Eldrenkamp (6-5, 275).

Bellevue's offense is more than 80 percent on the ground, with junior running back Latrelle Dukes (151-1,045 yards, 11 TDs) leading the charge.

But five other players have run for 376 yards or more, and six players have run for at least four touchdowns. They average 7.5 yards per carry.

Senior quarterback Kendrick Van Ackeren is a game-changer, tearing off a 91-yard TD run this season and averaging 10.4 yards per carry. He doesn't throw much -- just 78 times all season -- but has 12 TD passes, and he averages 17 yards a throw.

Defensively, Van Ackeren is a big-time safety and has five interceptions. Senior Michael Foreman is the top cover guy and has four picks.

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