by Jack Kintner
After working its way to the best mid-season mark in years, Blaine got dumped like a sack of trash by a good but not overpowering Burlington offense, losing a key Northwest Conference game 30-8 at home last Friday and slipped to a 4-2 record over-all. In 2A play they are right at .500 with a 2-2 record, losing to both Lynden and now Burlington.
It’s the first real lapse in what has otherwise been a powerfully executed season for a team that with 25 seniors ought to be able on any given day to match anyone in the league. Blaine has the best ground game in the conference, and several players are at or near the top in offensive stats. Two or three are likely candidates for all-league notice.
But Friday was one long “welcome to the NFL” moment as Blaine played, failing to finish plays defensively and getting blown off the line offensively. They were dominated by a team that, like Lynden, does not allow their opponent’s mistakes to go unchallenged.
Dylan Haines played most of the way at quarterback to provide a modicum of an air attack for the Borderites, and he ended up with a respectable 93 yards passing offense. McCabe and Bohnson were way below par, getting just 123 yards rushing between them as opposed to the four hundred and change they got last week.
Blaine’s normally reliable as a rooster Patrick Mulholland shanked a field goal try early in the first quarter and after that it was all Burlington, though Blaine had its moments. The first of quarterback Dylan Haines’s two intercepted passes came with eight minutes left in the second quarter and led to a Burlington field goal. Toward the end of the second quarter Ben Bohnson ran for two first downs in a row as Blaine marched from its own 38 down to the Burlington one yard line, but a second interception kept them from scoring.
Blaine received the kick in the third quarter and again marched downfield with the precision of Patton going after Rommel in the desert, but with a fourth and goal at the five a Burlington linebacker went unblocked and hit Haines in the shoulder, jarring the ball lose for Burlington guard Josh Lott to gather in and lumber 90 yards for a touchdown. Burlington would score again before Blaine finally got one across against a team which by time was mostly Burlington’s sophomore third string.
There’s not a lot to say after
that except to put the Borderites back up on their horse
for a must-win against Anacortes 7 p.m. Friday, October
12. The Borderites figure to do well against the Seahawks
in the soggy mosh pit they use for a stadium, but to do
that, and keep their playoff hopes alive, they’ll
have to show up.
Lady B’s lose two with Burlington, Sehome
After getting shellacked by Burlington 7-nil last week the Lady B’s played a powerful and undefeated Sehome team dead even for almost all of their penultimate home game this season before losing on a flukey goal 1-0.
As with last year Blaine’s schedule is easy in the beginning before ramping up big-time in the middle. With Sehome Blaine faced the league’s leading scorer, Mari Tarleton (19 goals) but brought the second leading scorer, Bailey Richardson (10 goals), to face her. Sehome had just come off a 5-0 pasting of Anacortes (Blaine’s road opponent at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 13), and has outscored their opponents 41-8 thus far.
Blaine played as well as they have all season in keeping the Sehome side out of their net for the first 68 minutes, Bre Olason giving way more than she got from the speedy but intimidated Mariners marking her and Alison Raine playing inspired defense in the gentle rain.
Janelle Gobbato covered her area like a cannonball, stopping many hard shots from a team with a lot of year-round players. The goal that went in off the foot of Riley Marcus was what coach Dan Steelquist likes to call a pinball goal: “The ball gets to bouncing around in there and glances off someone’s shin ... Janelle did a great job in goal, though, stopping all the hard shots on goal and keeping us in the game.” The one that scored was not even an intentional shot by Sehome, a slow roller that got by Gobbato when she zigged instead of zagged.
now 4-8, next plays Bellingham Thursday, October 11 at
4 p.m. at the northwest soccer complex near Smith Road
and Northwest Avenue. Their final home game of the year
is Tuesday, October 11, at the Pipe against Lynden.
Volleyball falls short of victory
In a season that head coach Nikki Hallberg called frustrating, Blaine volleyballers went winless over last week dropping contests to unbeaten Burlington and to a Sehome team they might have beaten with a bit more focus and mental toughness.
At Burlington the scores were one sided – 11-25, 13-25 and 6-25 – although freshman setter Libby Moore garnered 10 assists and sophomore Taylor Trueblood continued to develop her attacking ways from her usual spot opposite the opposing team’s setter.
When Blaine had the serve they managed a consistent 90 percent. They just didn’t get it often enough to make a dent in the Burlington juggernaut.
“We had an opportunity to beat a team that’s pretty much on our same level,” said Hallberg, but the match slipped away in little ways here and there with unforced errors and balls sailing wide of or beyond the mark. Trueblood, again, was an exception, going 10 out of 11 with her hitting with 1 kill. Middle hitter Maria Swansen went 13 for 14 and two kills.
The team is in good shape physically with Alex Hendricks-Hockey coming back from a two-month arm injury just in time to face Bellingham at home on Thursday, October 11 at 7.
“It’s a big game on Thursday against Bellingham,” Hallberg said, “because like us they haven’t won a league match either so we’re playing for the last place to get into district playoffs. We are due, we are staying positive and we will continue to get better.”
For the week of October 12 - 18