- CLASS A FOOTBALL: Thunderbirds Soar Away From Links In 4th Quarter
By Jeff Motz
BELLEVUE---Class A No. 2 Bellevue West got a challenge Friday night from a team certainly worth mentioning as a playoff contender the next two years.
The Thunderbirds, though, found a way to score 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and held off Lincoln High 55-34 at Faiman Field.
Bellevue West (10-0) advances to the quarterfinal to face No. 7 Millard West, who disposed of Papillion-LaVista South 35-10. Lincoln High ends the season at 5-5, but early in the game against the Thunderbirds held their own.
With Bellevue West up 13-0 in the second quarter off two touchdown from senior running back Jaylin Bradley, the Links responded with a quick 60-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Cedric Case to Zion Perry.
Another Thunderbird drive ended with a Bradley touchdown, but Lincoln High responded again, with Case finding Perry on a 38-yard scoring toss, which kept the Links within reach at 20-14.
After Bradley scored a 37-yard touchdown with 1:28 left before halftime, Case found Perry again, this time a 42-yard scoring pass and Lincoln High trailed at the break 27-21. Perry's fourth touchdown came on the Links' opening drive of the second half, on a short 8-yard reception that put Lincoln High up 28-27.
Bellevue West went back up 33-28 after another Bradley scoring run. Then Lincoln High quickly regained the lead, when Caleb Brown set out for a 70-yard touchdown run for a 34-33 advantage with 4:23 left in the third quarter.
From there, the Thunderbirds took over and held the Links at bay.
Wide receiver Sylvo Johnson caught a 28-yard pass putting Bellevue West ahead for good at 41-34. Bradley scored his fifth and final touchdown with four minutes left in the game and Zavier Betts had a 28-yard touchdown reception about a minute later to seal the win.
The Thunderbirds racked up 554 yards of offense, 359 of those through the air from quarterback Joe Dolincheck. Bradley ran the ball for 159 yards.
Case threw for 364 yards and Perry had ten catches for 182 yards and four touchdowns in the Lincoln High loss.