Sports -- October 05, 2006

Published on Thu, Oct 5, 2006
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SPORTS
by Jack Kintner

Blaine edges Cubs in marathon match

In a marathon evening that saw just about every kind of play imaginable, the Lady B’s took the measure of Triple-A Sedro Woolley 3-2 last Tuesday night at home. It saw the emergence of senior Julie Meaker.

Tuesday night they bloomed like dandelions in the spring and none too soon – Blaine dropped the second and third games 21-25 and 23-25 after a convincing first game win at 25-20. Especially in the third game, when they seemed to smell blood, they began to take off several times only to let Woolley catch them with lapses and frequent hits that went way beyond the end line. They dumped that game with a long serve to put their backs to the wall, and defeat seemed to be on their faces as the walked around to trade ends of the court with a team that had just pulled out two close long-volley contests by a combined five points.

Enter Meaker, who has normally served no more than twice before losing serve. This time she went a solid nine for 10 with two very timely aces as Blaine overpowered the visitors by nine in the fourth game and by the required two in the final match that went to 17-15, a tight see-saw all the way.

This was supported by solid performances from the regular Lady B’s like Jessica Wallen, 15/15 at serve with three aces on the evening, Adrienne Greer at 14/16 and the real Killer B among the lady B’s, Janelle Rouse, whose frontline play included 15 blocks, nine putaways and 19 kills on 35 returns out of 43 chances.

The girls head for Burlington Thursday night, October 5, before returning for their final two home games on successive Tuesday nights, meeting Sehome on October 10 and Lynden on October 17.

Led by Joey Paciorek’s 146-yard night, the men in black gave Borderite fans one of the most entertaining and satisfying homecomings in years as the B’s completely dominated Sehome High School of Bellingham 34-16.

Paciorek seamlessly traded roles and positions with Shane Hicks while piling up three first half running touchdowns, punching through with runs of 2, 6 and 3 yards.

In the third quarter Paciorek passed to Hicks at short range to go up 28-7 and then iced it with a 41-yard sprint through four Sehome tacklers.
By the time he got into the end zone no one was within 10 yards of him, partly because at 6-feet, 2-inches and 225 pounds .he’s bigger than many of the opposing defensive linemen he faces.

Sehome started the scoring with a methodical march downfield engineered by quarterback Kai Hatch, who’s been averaging 200 yard passing offense per game with 11 touchdown passes in the first four games of the young season.

This gave the warm and windless night promise of becoming a shoot-out, but the Blaine defense had other plans for the out-manned Mariner offense, and in the end held them to just 99 yards through the air to Blaine’s 73.

Sehome’s two interceptions – one to Tygr Cain and a second to Justin Kirkwood – both set up Blaine scores and speak to the pressure Blaine’s defensive line applied to Hatch all night.

With 19 carries Paciorek accounted for a little less than half of the rushing plays.

When he wasn’t playing the Immoveable Object at blocking back, Ben Bohnson managed to squeeze in 12 carries for 62 yards.

Others sharing the duty were Adam Dykstra, 5 for 31, Hicks, 3 for 19, Garrett Ballard 3 for 12, Derik Stremler, 1 for 2 and sophomore quarterback Conner Avery who went 1 for 0 late in the game.

Despite Hatch’s impressive resume, Paciorek matched his numbers going 6 for 13 with no interceptions and 73 yards to Hatch’s 7 for 12 for 99 yards and two devastating picks, turnovers that both led to Blaine touchdowns.

Cain led all receivers with four receptions for 67 yards and on interception.

The victory puts the B’s at 3-2 on the year, 2-1 against AA opponents.
Coach Dodd, after smiling for three or four seconds following the first Blaine homecoming victory since 2001, immediately reminded his team that they need to get a whole lot better in just a few days.

Right now, Burlington’s the biggest obstacle between them and the state playoffs.

They’ve come a long way, and have a long way to go.