Football Playoff Recap: Bellevue West handles Lincoln High, advance to quarterfinals


Nathan Hawkins , Reporter

What Happened: On Friday, Oct. 28, the Bellevue West Thunderbirds defeated the Lincoln High Links in the first round of the NSAA Playoffs, 55-34. The Thunderbirds, who are the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, continued their perfect season as the win put them at 10-0 on the year. Lincoln High, the No. 15 seed in the tournament, fell to 5-5 as they were eliminated from the playoffs.

By the numbers: Jaylin Bradley scored six times–5 running, 1 receiving–on their way to 540 total offensive yards. Lincoln High found success through the air with quarterback Cedric Case, racking up 372 passing yards and 5 touchdowns, all of which were over 35 yards. Bellevue West nearly matched their aerial success as quarterback Joe Dolincheck tallied 363 yards and three touchdowns, his third consecutive game with over 350 yards passing. Lincoln High wide receiver Zion Perry was Case’s primary target, as he had 182 yards and four touchdowns on 10 catches. Bellevue West receiver Sylvo Johnson’s accomplishments were nearly identical, as he had 181 yards and one touchdown on 10 catches. Defensively, Diego Galvan had a big night with 12 tackles;  six more than any other player on the Thunderbirds.

Did you see that? With 2:54 left in the game, the Thunderbirds were at the 28-yard line. Up 48-34 and needing a score to secure the victory, Joe Dolincheck lined up in the shotgun and threw a bubble screen out to freshman wide receiver Zavier Betts. Betts caught the ball and outran defenders on his way for a touchdown. The touchdown was the final score of the game, keeping the Thunderbirds championship aspirations alive. See the play yourself.

Next up:  On Friday, Nov. 4, Bellevue West will host the No. 7 seed Millard West Wildcats in the second game of the NSAA playoffs.