Friday, November 19, 1999

Beechwood (10-2) at Bellevue (12-0)

        • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today

        • WHERE: Gilligan Stadium, on Berry Street, Bellevue

        • WHAT TO WATCH: Beechwood walked off the Gilligan Stadium field six weeks ago with a 5-2 record and a multitude of questions.

        It re-enters tonight with an exclamation point. Since its 17-0 loss to Bellevue that night, it has gone 5-0, outscoring opponents by an average score of 47-5.

        “I think they were making a statement: "Hey Bellevue, buckle them on, because we're a pretty good football team and we want to play you again,' ” Bellevue coach Charlie Coleman said. “It'll be all we can handle.”

        Beechwood coach Mike Yeagle said his team spent time soul-searching after the Bellevue loss.

        “Our goal leaving there was to worry about nothing but Beechwood the rest of the year,” he said. “In some areas we've gotten better, in some areas we're getting better, and in some areas we still have a ways to go.”

        The last time Beechwood didn't win the regional championship, Bellevue was the culprit. In this round in 1990, Bellevue went to Fort Mitchell and won, eventually reaching the state finals.

        Yeagle was an assistant coach that year for Beechwood. He took over the next fall and has gone 39-2 in the playoffs.

        Bellevue, averaging 365 yards per game, spreads its offense between three sources: RBs James Delaney (1,300 yards, 20 TDs) and Chad Montgomery (947 yards, 16 TDs) and QBs Nate Berkley (1,125 yards, 15 TDs).

        Beechwood, averaging 356 yards per game, has three primary rushers: Ben List (967 yards, 21 TDs), Joey Hampel (759 yards, 13 TDs) and Nick Sketch (731 yards, eight TDs).

        As in the first meeting, defense should dominate. Whoever gets the lead might well keep it.

        “At this time of year, there are no secrets,” Yeagle said. “It comes down to who plays the hardest, who breaks the tackles, who wants it more.”

        • PICK: Bellevue


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