Blaine tailback Brian Ferrar breaks into the New Westminster secondary during the Borderites' spring scrimmage game against the Hyaks Thursday, June 9, at Blaine high school. Photos by Jerry Huls
With the questions about the 2011 edition of Borderite football as numerous as the possibilities, Blaine head football coach Jay Dodd’s biggest one on Thursday, June 9, was who might start at quarterback for the annual spring football scrimmage against New Westminster.
With the avalanche of late school year activities in full swing, freshman Myles Peltier was unavailable due to a family occaision, while junior Parker Wallace was attending the school’s big Global Health Celebration. Dodd turned to an incoming freshman, eighth-grader Nathan Kramme.
All Kramme did was lead Blaine to its opening touchdown drive which came on his 38-yard touchdown pass to speedster Isaiah Jackson as the Borderites outdueled the Hyaks 28-21 during a controlled scrimmage at Blaine high school.
“I though Nathan did great,” Dodd said in an email. “For never having stepped on the high school campus and being asked to lead a group of players that were a year older, I though he was superb. He’s very detremined and committed to getting better. If his work ethic continues, he has a very bright future playing football at BHS.”
In what turned out to be an entertaining evening of back and forth drives between the Borderites and the Hyaks, Blaine managed to distance themselves after Wallace arrived late to take over at quarterback to lead three touchdown drives and opening up a two touchdown lead that held up.
New Westminster answered Kramme’s touchdown pass with a drive that culminated on a 42 yard touchdown run. After a Tyler Chau touchdown gave the Borderites the lead again at 14-7, the Hyaks again scored on a long touchdown run of 33 yards.
“New Westminster runs an offense with Wing-T principles,” Dodd said. “This includes lots of fakes by the quarterback and running backs. We got caught with our eyes in the backfield following all the fakes rather than reading our keys. We hadn’t practiced against any of this before the scrimmage, so it’s something that we expected to possibly happen. We were more concerned about our effort and playing hard. That type of offense is something you need to gameplan for.”
Blaine took the lead for good when after a fumble recovery the Borderites drove into Hyak territory and culminated the drive on a six-yard touchdown run by five-foot three, 107-pound freshman Kyle Gonzales. Gonzales was one of a stable of running backs that saw action in the scrimmage. Besides Chau and Gonzales, last season’s starter Mario Gobbato, Brian Ferrar, and Cole Mudur also got considerable reps.
“We’re really not sure what our strategy will be at the running back spot,” Dodd said. “We played all of our backs at the scrimmage to see what they could do in a game-type situation. We have some young backs we’re excited about and some that return from last year. We’ll see how things shake out at the Central Washington (university) football camp. That will give us a better understanding of how we’ll start in the fall. I think our running game was good. Our basic plays were blocked properly and our backs were able to break into the secondary numerous times.”
The one player who wasn’t a question mark for Dodd was returning tight end Andrew Price who caught three balls, the last one, an electrifying 70 yard touchdown pass from Wallace that made the score 28-14. The play saw the junior race down the far sideline after stiff arming and fighting off four Hyak defenders as the 6-foot, 7-inch Price showed glimpses of the transcendent athlete that several major colleges have taken interest in. Several times, Dodd lined Price up against much smaller cornerbacks at the wide receiver position.
“Lining Andrew at the wide receiver position is definitely a mismatch for a lot of high school corners,” Dodd said. “He has the athleticism and hand-eye coordination to handle playing out there. But we don’t want to take away from his ability at tight end. We’ll have to wait and see if the development of the other WRs and TEs before we make a decision on that. I think, at this time, he’s capable of doing both.”
Price confirmed that he has been courted by the University of Washington, Oregon State and Boise State among others. The Air Force Academy has already offered the incoming senior a scholarship.
New Westminster scored on a six-yard run to close out the score.
“Overall, I think the scrimmage went well,” Dodd said. “Our young guys got lots of snaps and ran our basic plays very well. Our young guys have improved since last season. They’re much faster and stronger, and it showed on the field.”
Those new Borderites will next show their skills at an auspicious location. Blaine will face 3A Hazen of Renton at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, September 3, at Qwest Field in Seattle as the opener of an all-day slate of high school games.
Top Left: Incoming freshman Nathan Kramme fires a pass for the Borderites under good protection from backs Sam Laferrier and Caleb Johnson during Blaine’s spring scrimmage game against New Westminster Thursday, June 9, at Blaine High School.