Updated Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 01:46 AM
TACOMA — All week, and even all season, Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff warned about the mental lapses that have hampered his team.
Those become costly this time of year, he said, and good teams will make you pay.
But when you have Bellevue's weapons, it takes far more than a few mistakes to completely ruin an evening of football. Despite trailing for the first time all year on Friday in the Tacoma Dome, No. 1 Bellevue still handled No. 2 Mount Si 37-7 to advance to the finals next week against Saturday's winner between Eastside Catholic and University.
"They're tough, man," Goncharoff said. "Like I told the kids, I'm proud of them. We didn't panic. We didn't point fingers. It wasn't perfect, but no game is going to be. Now it comes down to one more week."
In the first quarter, Bellevue (13-0) made the very mistakes Goncharoff harped on. The Wolverines had three penalties and muffed a punt return, which Mount Si (11-2) recovered.
That led to Mount Si doing something no other Washington team had done against Bellevue this season: scoring a touchdown in the first three quarters against the Wolverines' vaunted defense.
Nick Mitchell's 16-yard pass to Joey Cotto scored Mount Si's touchdown five minutes into the game, marking the first time all year the Wolverines trailed.
"We had breaks," Goncharoff said, "but we slowly got better."
John Nguyen punched in two first-half touchdowns, including a 10-yard run that capped an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter. Ryan Bordner added two first-half field goals that helped Bellevue to a 20-7 halftime lead.
Nguyen shouldered much of Bellevue's offensive load, rushing for 147 yards and three touchdowns.
"My main thing was just to run downhill," Nguyen said. "That's my game is to run downhill, cover the ball and run hard."
The Wildcats knew they would have to play a nearly flawless game, something they didn't do in their 49-10 loss to Bellevue earlier this year.
While they were much better the second time, they weren't flawless. Mitchell tossed his sixth interception of the season in the first half. Later, Keenan McVein fumbled deep in Mount Si territory, and Bellevue recovered.
The Wildcats finished 11-2. Their only losses came against the Wolverines, who have now won 39 straight games.
"We're not going to hang our heads," Mount Si coach Charlie Kinnune said. "We're going to keep our chins up. We'll enjoy the year we had, the best team in school history."
Lynden 48, Capital 21
Quarterback Josh Kraght ran for 103 yards and four touchdowns and passed for 270 yards and another score as the second-ranked Lions earned a spot in the 2A championship game for the fourth time in the past five seasons. Capital's Kai Van Sickle ran for 162 yards on 29 carries, giving him the state season rushing record with 2,761 yards. The previous record of 2,681 yards was set by Jordan Todd of Interlake last season.
Reporter Sandy Ringer contributed
COLIN DILTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Bellevue's Myles Jack, middle, breaks through a hole in the Mount Si defense in the first half. Bellevue stayed unbeaten with its second win of the year over the Wildcats.