Sports -- October 12, 2006

Published on Thu, Oct 12, 2006
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SPORTS
by Jack Kintner

Blaine awakens Burlington-Edison Tigers

In a game that became a lesson learned, Blaine played three quarters of hard-nosed defense and tight, disciplined offense last weekend on the road against the Burlington-Edison Tigers, a ranked 2-AA opponent. Unfortunately, the game was four quarters long, and by the time the fourth frame was history Blaine saw their 13-10 third quarter lead dissolve like a sugar cube in the rain as Burlington racked up three touchdowns and a 40-yard field goal to bury the Borderites 34-13.

Most painful were the fourth quarter turnovers, three fumbles and two interceptions, that together gave Burlington enough for a total of 427 yards offense, twice what Blaine normally allows opponents in a season that so far has been moderately successful. With the loss Blaine dropped its record to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in league.

Scoring opened in the first quarter on Joe Paciorek’s 22-yard run but Patrick “Mr. Automatic” Mulholland’s kick failed, an ominous sign of things to come. Burlington answered with a Joe of its own, Joe Rose, who was on the receiving end of a 51-yard touchdown pass, and a 25 yard field goal from kicker Marcos Vega for a 13-6 halftime lead.
Blaine is now in fourth place in the tough seven-team Class 2-AA Northwest Conference, and can garner a playoff spot simply by winning one of its two remaining AA games.

The first is this Friday the 13th against the 2-4 Anacortes Seahawks or the following Friday in Deming against a very good Mt. Baker squad, currently in third place with a 4-2 record.

Blaine’s Lady B’s fall on tough times

The Lady B’s have fallen on tough times thanks to a combination of injuries and scheduling, losing their last two matches by a combined score of 10-0.

Blaine, now 2-6 in conference and 5-6 over-all, lost the heart of its line-up just when it’s meeting the heart of the schedule as no less than five key players – Alyssa Makalai, Bailey Richardson, Kristen Elsbree, Wren Baldwin and Carley Schmidt – have all succumbed to serious medical issues, leaving coach Dan Steelquist with thinning ranks.

Last week the Burlington-Edison Tigers came to the Pipe and beat on the Borderites like a rug, especially Alyssa Hendrickson, whose level of play always attracts whatever thugs the opposition plans to field. Then on Tuesday the B’s, with just a couple of subs, went to Whatcom Community College’s fine pitch on the old Wilder Farm outside Bellingham and got pummeled by the same 5-nil score.

In spite of all this Blaine continues to get great play from our compact but tough keep Janelle Gobbato, defender Bre Olason and, of course, Hendrickson, the energizer bunny of this year’s team. Perspective on all this ought to include the fact that many girls on the Bellingham, Skagit Valley and Sultan teams play 40 or more games over the course of a year, well beyond the 16 plus playoffs called for in the regular schedule.

It’s a team with heart, though, and will finish the season in strong and impressive fashion with three home games in the next week: Thursday, Oct. 12 against Bellingham, Saturday Oct. 14 here Anacortes at 3 p.m. and October 19 against Mount Baker, all at the Pipe. Come out and support these girls – they’ve more than earned it.