It was a highly festive atmosphere leading up to the game as Tumwater football paid tribute to its former head coach before kickoff.
Thunderbird fans were in a frenzy.
Bellevue’s backfield was quick to silence them.
The Wolverines scored on their first play of both halves, getting long touchdown runs from Isaiah Ifanse and Quinn Sullivan, to knock off Tumwater, 30-13, Friday at Tumwater District Stadium.
“Our kids battled like crazy the entire game,” said Tumwater coach Bill Beattie. “Every time we made a great play we’d come right back and make a mistake. That was a killer, but our kids never quit. Bellevue’s a good football program. This is why we schedule games like these. It was a good test.”
Prior the game, the school held a ceremony to dedicate and namethe field for longtime coach Sid Otton, who finished his 49-year coaching career last season with a state-best 395 victories.
Former players joined the current team and coaches to honor Otton with a statue on “Sid Otton Field” before the non-league game.
The Wolverines (2-1) wasted little time getting comfortable with their surroundings.
Bellevue scored on a pair of one-play drives in the first half, getting a 56-yard touchdown run on their first play from Sullivan and a 76-yard TD midway through the second quarter from Ifanse.
Ifanse, who finished with 244 yards on 18 carries, was at it again in the second half, taking it 65 yards for a score on the first play of the third quarter to give Bellevue a 20-0 lead.
Tumwater, moved the ball successfully on the ground for much of the game, finally got on the scoreboard when Connor Clark scampered in from 5 yards out, cutting the deficit to 20-7.
After a 34-yard Bellevue field goal, the T-Birds found the end zone for a second time as Dylan Paine scored on an 8-yard run. Tumwater the pass on the 2-point conversion was broken up by the Wolverines.
Ifanse put the final touches on a Bellevue (2-1) victory after the Wolverines recovered an onside kick. The senior scored on a 48-yard TD run on the next play.
Tumwater dominated the time of possession in the first half, holding a significant 40-12 advantage in offensive plays, and outgained their opponents (202-146) in the first two quarters.
The T-Birds coughed the ball up twice in the first half, none costlier than the fumble on the Bellevue 15 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
It was just the third meeting all time between the two state powers. Tumwater won last year’s clash in Bellevue after Cade Otton hauled in a last-second 26-yard touchdown reception to give the T-Birds a 15-13 victory.
Tumwater also defeated the visiting Wolverines, 41-6, in the opening round of the 4A state playoffs in 1993 before going on to win the state championship.
Bellevue 7 7 6 10 - 30
Tumwater 0 0 7 6 - 13
B-Quinn Sullivan 56 run (Jay Michael kick)
B-Isaiah Ifanse 76 run (Michael kick)
B-Ifanse 65 run (kick blocked)
T-Connor Clark 5 run (Nathan Seaman kick)
B-Michael 34 FG
T-Dylan Paine 8 run (pass failed)
T-Ifanse 48 run (Michael kick)