In the previous three games, the Bellevue defense had allowed just 18 total points.
Friday night at Norwalk in the first four-plus minutes, the Redmen allowed two quick touchdowns and trailed 14-0 at the 7:44 mark of the first quarter.
It was all business from there, however, as the Redmen defense clamped down to its normal ways and the offense put up 28 unanswered points in a 28-14 win.
The Truckers (6-2, 1-2 NOL) put up a quick 114 yards on their first two scoring drives, but Bellevue allowed just 92 yards of offense the rest of the game while forcing three turnovers. Norwalk didn't see the red zone again after the fast start.
Meanwhile, Bellevue (6-2, 3-0 NOL) got a big performance from running back Dalton Jarvis. Entering the game with 283 yards rushing, Jarvis finished with 136 yards and two touchdowns on 23 attempts to pace the Redmen.
Jalen Santoro went over the 1,100-yard mark rushing and the 700-yard mark passing in the win, picking up 113 yards rushing with a touchdown while throwing for 41 yards and a touchdown. Santoro appeared to suffer a minor arm or shoulder injury late in the first half, and only took off a handful of times in the second half and passed very little while also handing off the ball with his opposite hand.
He appeared fine after the game.
The Redmen enter the final two weeks of the season in prime position for a NOL title and a home playoff game in Division III. A Bellevue win at Shelby (0-8) next week and a Sandusky loss to Tiffin Columbian (7-1, 2-1 NOL) would allow the Redmen to clinch at least a share of the league next week.
Should the Redmen and Blue Streaks both win, it will set up a winner-take-all game for the NOL title in the regular season finale. Playoff-wise, the Redmen could be assured a first-round home game entering the Sandusky matchup win or lose against the Streaks should it beat Shelby next week.