Sports -- September 25, 2008

Published on Thu, Sep 25, 2008
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SPORTS by Jack Kintner

Slivers from the bench...

Bradley wins at Peace Arch

Blaine junior Tim Bradley won the only local cross-country meet of the season last week as he posted a 17:07 time in the 5 kilometer race that wound around Peace Arch Park. His time was 27 seconds faster than second place finisher Ethan Garrison of Mount Vernon and almost a full minute ahead of third place Connor Williams of Mt. Baker.

The rest of Blaine’s XC team finished behind all but one of the rest of the pack, giving team honors to Mount Baker (33.2). Mount Vernon nicked Blaine for second place by just 2.7 points, 52.3 to 55.
For the girls, Blaine freshman Kiersten Sigsusson finished second with a strong 21:58, 35 seconds behind winner Kayla Johnson of Mount Vernon.

Register for benefit golf tourney

Blaine boys golf coach Steve Barthlow and the Blaine Golf Boosters are drumming up hole sponsorships and participants for a Sunday, October 5, golf fund raiser to be held at Semiahmoo Golf and Country Club.

Barthlow reminds players that foursomes need to register by September 27. Proceeds will go to support the varsity golf team. For further information, contact Barthlow at sbarthlow@webmail.blainesd.org.

Borderites take lesson from loss

The game was big, all right

The $8,000 gate at last weekend’s Ferndale-Blaine game was the biggest ever at Blaine, beating the previous record by $3,000. 250 hotdogs were sold in the first quarter and by halftime the rest were gone. Eight hundred portable bleacher seats were rolled in to add to the 1,050 the stadium holds for a seating capacity of about 1,900, and game attendance, including those standing, press and students was estimated at about 3,200.

Athletic director Wayne Vezzetti shared the following from Ferndale supporter Brian Pankratz who wrote about how impressed he had been with Blaine’s preparation for and execution of the event. “I have never had people directing traffic for a high school football game. The lots were full but you made sure people knew where to go.

“At halftime I noticed that very few people had left. They came to support their team and they were intent on doing that. The [Blaine] players never gave up. It was great to see all the orange and black in the stands.

“Blaine school district anticipated this game, prepared for it and did a fantastic job hosting it.”

But what can you say after
a 55 to 7 loss at home?

Okay, okay, so we played hard and lost. But there were some bright spots, one being that Mt. Baker, this week’s homecoming opponent, runs the same kind of wingback-oriented offense and 4-3 defense as Ferndale, but Baker hasn’t outscored their opponents 163 to 15 in their first three games and isn’t exactly in line to repeat as state triple-A champs.

When you get to match yourself up against the best program in the area there’s always a benefit. Miracles happen - every so often you get an Appalachian State beating a University of Michigan - but in the real world you mostly get creamed. This was the first meeting between these two teams since 1963, when head coach Jay Dodd’s uncle Mike was a Borderite tight end.

However, Blaine did not roll over for these guys. There was some good Borderite offense generated by the wide receivers, notably Trevor Chau and Jacob Rogers, and running back Caleb Statham, who showed Ferndale something about speed in breaking three tackles getting to the Brass Eagle 31.

Casey McCabe generated 69 yards offense, 22 receiving, and Al Bohnson got 50 yards through the air, 49 of them coming on an electrifying first-quarter 49-yard pass from Daniel Gorze, who along with backup Jordan McCarty led Blaine to almost 200 yards of offense, two-thirds of them through the air, with just two interceptions, only one lost fumble and just 30 yards of penalties. These guys paid attention despite having to look past noses bloodied early and often.

But nerves and a lack of team speed made the first half difficult for Blaine, as the first two opening kick-offs went out of bounds and Ferndale managed to put a lot of points on the board early, taking two plays to do it after receiving the opening kick and getting the second score on an interception.

But in the second half things were much more even, and not just because Ferndale put in the scrubs. They did, but by ones and twos, not by platoons. Blaine came back as it always does, managing to put together a nice third quarter eight and a half minute possession drive that went 75 yards in 16 plays, culminating in a nifty 12-yard touchdown pass from Gorze to Rogers, the frosting on the cake being provided by kicker Keith Sentkowski. Blaine actually outscored the Brass Eagles by that one point in the second half, and scored just the second touchdown that Ferndale’s allowed thus far in three games.

Also figuring in Blaine’s aerial attack were Trevor Chau (24 yards), Todd Bird (15) and D.J. Duncan (6).

“You know, when you’re behind 49 to nothing at the half it would be easy to give up,” said Dodd, “but these guys didn’t quit. They were good team mates the whole way. This was good experience, no one got seriously hurt and we’re ready for Baker.”

This week, for homecoming, Blaine faces Mt. Baker’s two-man offense in quarterback Brian Marshall, who last week went 13 for 33 and 170 yards, and Gauge Robinson, who caught six of Marshall’s passes for 94 yards in as dramatic an overtime win as Blaine’s last year against the same opponent, the Anacortes Seahawks.

Baker’s 2-1, having also beaten Nooksack in their opener by a touchdown and losing to Bellingham the next week by one score as well.

This game is anybody’s guess, though, as Baker and Blaine tend to get up for each other like Washington State and that other university in Seattle that’s more famous now for rowing than football.

Get there early...we won’t be parking on the lawn, but there will still be a lot of people there for what will be a barn burner of a homecoming game.