Blaine carved up Sehome for 241 yards last week in a home game that also saw senior wide receiver Trevor Chau set a school record for yards receiving early in the 35-0 win. “I knew I was going to break it pretty early,” said the modest and talented Chau, “because there were just few yards left. I didn’t know they were going to announce it in the stadium, though.”
Blaine piled up 235 yards rushing and another 95 yards in the air. Chau got 63 yards on five receptions and Caleb Statham broke 100 yards on the ground for the sixth time in eight games and 1,000 yards on the season in piling up 184 yards by himself (with a lot of help from Blaine’s offensive line). As has been his habit, one of the scores came on a long breakaway, this time for 69 yards early in the game on Blaine’s first possession. The defense got the ball back again and quarterback Jordan McCarty began with a bubble pass to Chau, a short sideways flick that was almost a lateral, and the 16 yards he got on the play broke a 12-year-old record held by former Borderite receiver Greg Wright by 13 yards.
It was a matter of the varsity dominating the Mariners for the first half and the second and third strings doing credibly well in the second. David Craig scored on a short plunge to cap the Borderites’ second drive, and it was Statham again followed by a McCarty to Todd Bird two-point conversion to make it 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. Statham scored again in the second and Bird called his own number early in the third for the final tally before the rest of the game was given over to get some varsity experience for those who will be Borderites next year.
The win puts Blaine (4-2, 5-3) into a solid third place in the league, good enough to guarantee them a post-season berth. The only question is against whom, something that will be decided this Thursday as all the contenders for the AA crown play a day earlier than usual. Blaine’s game against Bellingham starts at 5 p.m. at Civic Field followed by the important Mt. Baker-Squalicum contest. Borderites solidify grasp on season
Blaine gutted ot a win over a tenacious and scrappy Mt. Baker Monday night at home. The sets went long into the evening with Blaine coming out on top, though dropping the first game 20-25. They swept the rest of the evening 25-21, 25-16 and 25-20 to put themselves into good position for fourth or fifth place with one game remaining, a tough but winnable road contest at Anacortes that will have been played the night before you see this.
Junior outside hitter Libby Moore had 15 kills and senior mid Alex Hendricks-Hockey had seven, while sophomore setter Aubrey Hagen had a team-leading and very productive 27 assists. Junior Payton Steinbach had three service aces for Blaine and senior mid Jordan Oldham had four.
With the win Blaine improves to 6 and 6 in league play, 7 and 6 over all, and will play in the post season. The picture is complex but baring some combination that sounds about as likely as an eagle dropping a fish on your head before noon on February 29, Blaine is in.
Blaine dams Nooksack 7-nil in home game
Blaine played a fast and loose first half followed by a disciplined and productive second half in defeating Nooksack 7-nil last week in their penultimate game at the Pipe.
“I was pleased with the organized attack they had in the second half,” said head coach Dan Steelquist. “They shot all over the place in the first half, but in the second showed they can play well without Sam [Nault], which is important. They were much more organized.”
After Maria Swansen’s goal at 11 minutes opened the scoring, Nault got four in a row, firing almost at will as she lurked along the 20 yard line. They came at 19, 28, 35 and 37 minutes. She sat out much of the second half.
Nault’s second goal was a direct goal from a corner kick that bounced off the Nooksack goalie’s hands but was too hot to handle as the partisan crowd shouted “bend ‘em like Nault!”
Amber Johnson opened the second half with another Blaine goal at 2 minutes in and Swansen got her second with just six minutes left.
Blaine drops last game to Mt. Baker 3-nil
Mt. Baker made it into the playoffs defeating Blaine at their last game of the season 3-nil at the Pipe last Monday afternoon.
The Mounties scored twice in the first half, at 12 and 17 minutes, and early in the second to take the win.
Anna Hewitt had eight saves in goal for Blaine but the Lady B’s managed only two shots on goal, both of which were turned aside by Mountaineer keeper Leah Ford.
Blaine ends the year with a 3-10 (4-12) record. Coach Dan Steelquist is optimistic about next year, however, as his charges played with an organized and effective style that will, given some maturing, be a lock for a playoff spot come next October.
Slivers from the bench...
Two teams get into post season
The Borderite football and volleyball teams have each earned their way into the post season, but the standings are so close a clear picture won’t really emerge until this week’s games are played, all of which are scheduled after press time.
Blaine will get sole possession of fifth place, the lowest that qualifies for the post-season, if Sehome wins on Thursday night regardless of how Blaine did on the road against Anacortes, a game already played on Wednesday, October 28, by the time you read this.
The next game would be on Monday, November 2 at the home court of the winner of the Granite Falls-Lakewood game to be played Thursday night October 29.
If Sehome loses and Blaine beat Anacortes then Blaine gets fourth outright and is into district play. If Blaine and Sehome both lose then Blaine still has a chance at a three-way tie for fourth and would play in a mini-playoff at Mt. Baker high school on Friday, October 30.
Blaine will play Bellingham Thursday night, October 29, and will be affected by two other games that same night, Squalicum’s contest with Mt. Baker and the Burlington-Lynden game to be played south of the Chuckanuts in Burlington.
Blaine, Lynden and Squalicum should win their games. Upsets can happen but these are three teams who can smell the post-season and who react like hungry dogs sniffing a T-bone. Blaine, especially, has lost games it should have won and will not repeat that if at all possible.
This most likely scenario – Blaine, Lynden and Squalicum all winning - puts Blaine in a three-way tie for second. Because of a draw held last spring Blaine will get sole possession of second place in seeding for the post-season. They would then play a cross-over game with the third-place team out of the Cascade Conference at home or at Civic Field on Friday, November 6, perhaps South Whidbey. The winner of that game will be into the state tournament, playing the number one team out of the combined second and third district the following week.