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WIAA 3A football state championship: Bellevue reclaims crown with shutout victory over Yelm

Tornados lose state's top player Brayden Platt (ejection) in first quarter, and Wolverines' two touchdowns runs enough to knock off defending state champions, 14-0
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SEATTLE - It was the swing of a lifetime for the Bellevue High School football team.

For Yelm, it was a huge heartbreaker.

The ejection of Yelm star Brayden Platt just 5 minutes, 50 seconds into the game completely changed the complexion of the Class 3A state championship game Friday night.

Bellevue took advantage of the huge hole left by Platt’s absence and secured a 14-0 triumph over Yelm on Friday night in the 3A state championship game at Husky Stadium.

The Tornados sorely missed the presence of Platt, an Oregon commit, on both sides of the ball at linebacker and running back after he was ejected for throwing a punch at a Bellevue player. That break allowed Bellevue (12-2) to wrap up the school’s 12th state title in the sport, tying a state-best championship total.

The loss denied Yelm (13-1) successive 3A state crowns after the Tornados used good fortune to down Eastside Catholic 20-13 in the 2022 title game, but never got any momentum back after losing Platt.

Carson Rubin led Bellevue with 155 yards rushing and a touchdown on 26 carries as the Wolverines ground out 339 yards rushing.

The biggest twist of the game came with 5:50 remaining in the first quarter when the Bellevue defense stuffed Platt for no gain on an inside running play. After Platt’s helmet was pulled off, the senior threw a punch at Bellevue’s Damaad Lewis and, after the referees met to discuss the activity, he was ejected.

The Bellevue sideline celebrated wildly, jumping up and down when it was announced that Platt was disqualified from the game and forced to play the final 41:10 without him.

The Wolverines took a 14-0 lead on Rubin’s 1-yard touchdown run, capping a soul-crushing scoring drive that took the first 7:29 off the clock in the second half. The march took 15 plays and 75 yards on the first possession of the third quarter.

Bellevue took a 7-0 lead when Max Jones crashed in for a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:30 to go in the first half. The score was set up by a 45-yard run from Rubin and 13-yard run by Bryce Smith.

The Wolverines outgained the Platt-less Yelm, 182-94, in the first half as the Tornados resorted to putting the ball in the air more. Quarterback Damian Aalona completed 10 of 15 passes for 77 yards before halftime.

Yelm beat the Wolverines 28-27 in last season’s 3A state semifinals. Bellevue turned back the Tornados 37-20 in the 3A state quarterfinals in 2018.