by Jack Kintner
25-21 loss to Anacortes threatens football season
The rapidly improving Anacortes Seahawks stole Blaine’s thunder last Friday night in a game that was so foggy even the officials admitted they couldn’t see much of what was happening.
When it was all done, Blaine’s fourth-quarter heroics came up four points short 25-21.
Led by the compact (5’6” 160 lbs) flanker Troy Briones, Anacortes swept right and left with abandon in the first quarter scoring two first period touchdowns.
They were on their way to a third when Blaine’s athletic junior Alex Bresnan, in one of the prettiest pieces of pass defense seen this year, covered Seahawk wide receiver Josh Freeman perfectly despite giving up four inches in height, and with both players four feet off the ground tipped the ball just out of Freeman’s reach to keep Blaine’s stalled offense from falling any further behind.
Joe Paciorek rushed for Blaine’s first touchdown on a 10-yard sweep in fog so thick the fans couldn’t see what happened.
He made it to the end zone in silence, but when Borderite game announcer Mike Dodd said “touchdown Blaine!” the stands erupted in cheers.
Anacortes marched right back to take a 20-7 lead while Blaine was being frustrated either by missed calls, especially a long Ben Bohnson reception in the second quarter ruled incomplete, or the right side of the Seahawk defensive line that rushed an easy field goal attempt which then missed by several feet.
By the end of the first half Blaine had already allowed the Seahawks 200 yards rushing.
The third quarter began with an electrifying Paciorek run for 77 yards and a score. He later hit the deceptive and fast wide receiver Freddy Johncox for a 20 yard score to bring the awakened Borderites within five points but that was all as Blaine came up on the short end of a 25-21 score.
With the loss Blaine temporarily dropped behind in contention for post-season play unless they can beat Mt. Baker next Friday night in Deming.
If they end up tied with Anacortes then the loss means Anacortes gets the nod in a tie-breaker situation.
Joe Paciorek had another productive night, generating 240 yards of offense, 137 on the ground and another 103 through the air. Adam Dykstra rushed twice for 37 yards and Shane Hicks twice for 17.
Ben Bohnson ran 17 times piling up an impressive 89 yards. Bresnan caught four passes for 22 yards, Johncox three for 37.
Tygr Cain, meanwhile, got two for 19 yards and Bohnson had one reception for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Blaine’s record is now 3-4, 2-3 in conference. Continuing on in the post-season boils down to winning their next game on Friday October 19 in Deming at 7 p.m. The season finale is the following week at home against Lynden Christian.
Win sends Lady B’s to playoffs
Mackenzie Nix’s point blank shot just inside the left goalpost 40 seconds into sudden death overtime gave Blaine a 2-1 win and a berth in the subdistrict playoffs next week.
Coach Dan Steelquist said that his charges took control of the game in the first half but let things slip a little in the second, “So I told them to take charge in the overtime, and they stepped up big-time.”
Nix, a deep defender, pushed all the way up for a Bobby Orr style invasion of the offensive end of the pitch after Lynden lost possession right after the overtime kickoff.
Blaine shot hard and was fouled, and Carley Schmidt’s free kick went straight to Alyssa Hendrickson, who found Nix.
Nix then slammed a shot past Lynden’s keeper, the best in the league, for the win.
Blaine’s last game is on Thursday, October 19, against Mt. Baker out at the Pipe.
The Lady B’s have clinched a playoff berth but will be paying for fourth place Thursday and a chance to host, rather than travel to, their first sub-district match next week.