By Oliver Lazenby
Wide receivers Chase Abshere and Alfonso Dermendziev emerged as talented targets for quarterback Jalen Kortlever in the Borderites’ 45–35 win against Meridian on September 9.
Meridian’s offense started the passing duel with a methodical 16-play drive that ended with wide receiver T.J. Dykstra catching a 4-yard pass in the end zone. The teams traded possessions and scores through the first half and well into the third quarter tied 21–21.
Riley Fritsch ran 10 yards for a score and Blaine senior wide receiver Anthony Ball, coming off a season-opener in which he caught 11 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns, scored two touchdowns in the first half. After that, Meridian’s defense
“We had to find another receiver and we found two of them: Chase Abshere and Alfonso Dermendziev,” said Blaine head coach Jay Dodd.
Blaine broke away in the third quarter, with Abshere catching for two touchdowns and Kyle Sentkowski launching a field goal.
“Jalen Kortlever put it on the money and we did get a little bit of a running game going,” Dodd said about the third quarter. “We were able to score some points and more importantly get stops on defense.”
The Borderites were challenged by Meridian’s varied offensive formations, Dodd said.
“It was kind of a trick to line up right half the time,” he said.
The Borderites have been working on tackling in open space, and Garrett Adams led the team in tackles, with some crucial tackles in the open field.
Overall, Abshere caught five passes for 112 yards and Dermendziev caught two passes for 60 yards. Kortlever completed 11 of 16 passes, including four for touchdowns. Meridian’s quarterback, Simon Burkett, completed 19 passes for 277 yards.
The Borderites will play their first 2A Northwest Conference game this Friday, September 16 against Sedro-Woolley (1–1, 0–0 in Northwest Conference games) at home. Sedro-Woolley beat Blaine 48–8 in their only match-up last season.
Blaine is hosting a food drive for the food bank on Friday night. Spectators are encouraged to bring canned or non-perishable food items and drop them off at the ticket booth.