Lions celebrate Homecoming with bounce back blowout victory

Left to right: Nick Nino, Dagim Heiser, Joey Bambrick, and Andrew Johnson pose for a picture.

Heading into Friday evening on Oct. 7, the Lions were hungry for a victory. It had been a long start to the season, with many disappointments headlined by close losses to Sumner and Bethel. Bellarmine, despite their losing record, still has lots of talent and looked to prove that at home against a similarly talented South Kitsap squad.

All previous disappointments were forgotten about on Friday, as the Lions stormed out to an early lead and dominated the Wolves on all sides of the ball, cruising to a 38-6 victory for their second win of the season. The Lions scored their first home touchdown all year and to cap it all it was the homecoming game for the Lions.

The Lions’ offense continued to struggle at the start of the contest and the opening drive was halted by a miscommunication between sophomore quarterback Dawson Hedrick and junior wide receiver Nick Nino that led to a Wolves interception.

The Wolves took advantage of the opportunity jumping out to an early lead; however, the Lions quickly bounced back off a few great throws from Hedrick who had time in the pocket all night and consistently delivered the ball through tight windows to wideouts Lucas Kokich and Andrew Johnson who both had receptions early on.

As the first home points of the year were scored, the Lions’ Den dressed in all blue and white erupted with excitement and relief. The Bellarmine fans did not have to wait long for another score as on the next possession, star running back Joey Bambrick housed a handoff 30 yards to the end zone giving the Lions a lead.

The Wolves who threw the ball only a handful of times tested their luck on their next possession immediately backfiring. Joey Bambrick who has made plays all year for Bellarmine jumped a route on an underthrown ball and took it to the end zone for a pick-six. The Lions had their first comfortable lead since playing Rogers a few weeks back going up two scores.

The Lions entered half up 17-6, and the momentum didn’t stop there. In the third quarter, Bellarmine added another touchdown by Bambrick to gain his third touchdown of the game. The stellar Lions’ defense forced another punt, and the offense went quickly down the field, allowing Hedrick to complete a 25-yard pass to Nino, his first touchdown of the year, to put the Lions up 31-6. An underrated storyline of the night was the outstanding protection the offensive line gave all night to Hedrick and the holes they opened up for Bambrick.

The defense who figured out all they needed to was stack the box moved to one safety set with only a pair of cornerbacks and continued to lock down any Wolves offense, as time slowly chipped away. The Lions added a late score with junior quarterback Tyler Stowers taking a designed QB run to the end zone, for his team-leading 4th touchdown of the season. Bellarmine finished the game with a dominant 38-6 victory.

While there were certainly issues such as three interceptions on offense, the Lions were able to bounce back and provide the school their first home victory on Homecoming weekend. The win puts Bellarmine into 7th place in the SPSL, with a 2-4 record. They have a negative one-point differential scoring 91 total points on the year.

This Saturday at 7 p.m. Bellarmine will face off against a hot Emerald Ridge team on their turf, led by three-star junior quarterback Jake Schakel, and the University Of Washington commit right end, Jacob Lane. The Jaguars have won 5 straight, including a dominant win over Sumner followed by 3 straight blowouts against Curtis, South Kitsap, and Bethel. The Jaguars boast a high-powered air attack offense that has scored over 200 points through 6 games.

Although the Lions will be the underdogs in the matchup this win over South Kitsap could give the Lions the confidence they need to play a competitive game against one of the best teams in the SPSL as well as Washington state as a whole. The Lions enter this game in a playoff mindset, as they have to win out to keep their postseason hopes alive.

Left to right: Nick Nino, Dagim Heiser, Joey Bambrick, and Andrew Johnson pose for a picture. (Casey O’Flaherty)
Players prepare for the game. (Casey O’Flaherty)
The defense prepares to make the stop. (Casey O’Flaherty)