For a building program still getting acclimated to the playoffs, facing a nationally-ranked team is a tall task. Despite getting two turnovers and putting together a couple of solid drives, the task was too tall for Lincoln against Bellevue, as the Abes fell 45-0 tonight in the 3A district playoffs.
John Nguyen did most of the damage for the Wolverines, getting them on the board with a five-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter and finishing with 11 carries for 197 yards and three scores. Nguyen had four runs of over 30 yards.
The Abes looked as if they would respond quickly, powered by a 26-yard run by Jonathan Hardnett and a 14-yard scamper by quarterback J’Maka Love, but the drive stalled and Lincoln was forced to punt. Ben King then recovered a fumble by Bellevue quarterback Jack Meggs to set up the Abes in Bellevue territory, but Budda Baker intercepted Dionte Simon on a double pass to get the ball back for the Wolverines. Max Richmond then took a handoff and sprinted 66 yards almost untouched down the left sideline to give Bellevue a 14-0 lead. Nguyen added a 23-yard touchdown run and Alexander Kruse hit a 22-yard field goal shortly before the half to give the Wolverines a 24-0 lead.
The Abes defense continued to fight, as Ike Castro recovered another fumble on the Wolverines’ first possession of the second half, but the Bellevue defense stood firm. Nguyen tacked on his third touchdown midway through the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Yofiel Wile and Sam Richmond added on short touchdown runs to complete the scoring. The Abes had one more good scoring chance after Love connected with Joshua Eckwood for 17 yards and Kashawn Johnson for 31 more, but the drive again stalled and Bellevue ran out the clock.
The Abes finish with a 5-5 overall record, having advanced to the playoffs for the second straight year.