November 28, 2013 in Sports

Shadle has its work cut out as Highlanders seek to end Bellevue’s win streak

By The Spokesman-Review

3A semifinal

Shadle Park

vs. Bellevue

Saturday: At Albi, 1 p.m. Records: Highlanders (11-1), Wolverines (12-0)

What’s at stake: A date in the title game next week against the winner of O’Dea (12-0) vs. Eastside Catholic (10-2).

At a glance: You won’t find any gaudy, Shadle-like offensive numbers with Bellevue. In fact, the Wolverines beat teams with execution. Some might liken it to water torture. Problem is, any Bellevue player has the ability to break a run to the end zone on any play. Two Wolverine quarterbacks, for example, combined for less than 1,000 yards passing in Bellevue’s first nine games. Five Bellevue players have combined for 1,957 rushing yards in nine games. Where the Wolverines beat teams is with defense. They allow 61 yards rushing and 72 passing. In nine games they recovered nine fumbles and had 13 interceptions. Bellevue’s best athlete is senior running back/defensive back Budda Baker, who is wanted by every Pac-12 school.

If you’re wondering what the Shadle Park football team’s chances are against five-time defending State 3A champ Bellevue, there’s an initial knee-jerk response.

Somewhere akin to a snowball’s chance in hell.

There’s no way to dance around it. When Shadle (11-1) meets the No. 1-ranked Bellevue Wolverines (12-0) on Saturday, the Highlanders face their most difficult challenge this season. Kickoff at Joe Albi Stadium is 1 p.m.

Some might suggest that it’s an insurmountable challenge.

Consider this:

• Bellevue is riding a 52-game winning streak, now the longest in state history after the Wolverines’ win last week.

• The Wolverines are 139-8 since 2003.

Shadle coach Alan Stanfield is trying to take a they-put-their-pants-on-one- leg-at-a-time approach this week.

He must be applauded for how far he’s taken Shadle. After all, the co-Greater Spokane League champs are just two years removed from a 0-9 season.

“We know, by reputation, that they’re a good team,” Stanfield said. “I don’t think they’ve seen a team like us that throws the ball as much as we do and the way we do. We feel good that maybe we can go in and have some mismatches.”

Bellevue’s defense has allowed just two touchdowns.

Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin was asked after his team lost 34-16 to Shadle on Saturday if the teams were playing for the opportunity to see which would be bulldozed by Bellevue. He didn’t hesitate to answer the question.

“They’ve got a chance. Somebody’s going to (beat them) one of these years and maybe it’s these guys here,” Biglin said. “They’ve got the weapons on offense to make a lot of noise and they’ve got a great defense that swarms to the ball. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least that they give Bellevue all they have.”

Shadle will likely not have enough time to prep for Bellevue’s Wing-T offense. The Wolverines execute the old-school scheme like no other.

Shadle senior scatback Alvin Welch believes the Highlanders have a shot.

“It’s going to be a tough game, we know about them and what they’ve done this season and what they’ve done in the past but I think if we play our best …,” Welch said, drifting off. “If we can bring our best we can compete.”

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