Sports -- September 25, 2003

Published on Thu, Sep 25, 2003
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Blaine loses homecoming, team looks ahead to Nathan Hale game

by Jack Kintner

Blaine�s homecoming game, their second loss of the season against a team they figured to have a chance at beating, was a frustrating show of promise.

�Our defense came to play,� said head coach Dave Fakkema. �But we still need to find our running game.�

Despite the 10�6 loss to the Granite Falls Tigers, there were several bright spots for this developing team, not the least of which was a number of forced turnovers, a goal-line stand and a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Blaine received the opening kick-off only to lose the ball on downs. Granite Falls responded with four first downs, one via a pass interference penalty, but with a first and goal Blaine forced a fumble on the three yard line.

Three downs later Blaine decided to kick it away, but the Tigers� six foot-four inch linebacker Alonzo de los Santos blocked the punt and Granite Falls recovered, this time on the Blaine 11 yard line. Again the defense became a brick wall, and Granite Falls settled for a Kyle Nelson field goal after calling a time out.

Two exchanges later Blaine found itself with a first and 10 at midfield, but a first down pass was picked off by Kevin Willard of Granite Falls, who scored a touchdown. It was called back because of a roughing the passer call that nullified everything. Blaine got the ball back as the quarter ended.

The second quarter was scoreless for both teams, but again included a sequence where offensive lapses gave the ball to Granite Falls only to have the Blaine defense treat them like an hors d�oeuvre. Blaine�s possession began with a first and 10 on their own 40, and got to the Granite Falls 44 after a third down penalty. Then a fumble, and a Granite Falls recovery on their own 38, followed by a 31-yard run to Blaine�s 31 yard line. But the defense then began to assert itself, as a Granite Falls personal foul on first down was followed by two Blaine defensive sacks.

In the third quarter, Granite Falls returned Blaine�s kick-off to the Borderite 47 yard line, and three first downs later Kevin Willard punched it into the end zone. After their touchdown Granite Falls booted a high, arching kick fielded by five-foot-nine-inch sophomore Michael Poitras on Blaine�s nine yard line. His 91-yard run for a touchdown not only showed Blaine�s ability to catch its breath and stiffen defensively, but also a potential offensive advantage that smaller teams have, quickness and speed. But Blaine�s extra point try was blocked, and the score remained 10-6 for the rest of the game.

�We were pleased with their execution of plays that took advantage of our quickness,� Fakkema said. �Like the quick pitches, and [sophomore] Nick Jordan threw well to [junior] Bryan Galbraith. People will see a new formation against Nathan Hale, because we want to win now, not just be happy about what�s coming.�

Friday night�s non-league home game against Nathan Hale of Seattle begins early at 7 p.m.

Volleyball and soccer teams win one, lose one

by Jack Kintner

The Blaine girls volleyball team beat a determined Granite Falls team last week 3-1 before falling the next day to Lynden Christian 3-0.

At Granite Falls, Jess Freeman served four aces and piled up 29 assists as Burk (8), Kramer (8) and Summers (12) combined for 28 kills. Senior outside hitter Amanda Stull contributed three more service aces. Blaine took the first two games 25-14 and 25-17 before dropping the third 22-25, then clinched it in the fourth game 25-13.

At Lynden Christian, Blaine tasted defeat for the first time this season as the Lyncs took three straight games 21-25, 13-25 and 15-25. Summers and Kramer were held to eight kills and three aces between them.

Finally home last Tuesday night, the 2-1 Borderites hosted the Nooksack Valley Pioneers and their two six footers, sophomore Cassie Dodd and junior Amanda Kooistra. Nooksack took the first game 23 to 25, the second 12 to 25 and were leading in the third when an official stopped play to question Nooksack head coach Brooke VanBerkum�s method of switching in her libero player Jennifer Hanowell. Blaine then came back to win the third game 25 to 21, but eventually lost the fourth 25 to 23. Nooksack eventually won the contest 3 to 1.

The Blaine soccer team faced last year�s state champions, the Sultan Turks, suffering their first loss on the road 2-0. Amanda Burnside scored six minutes in to give Sultan an early lead, and Nicole Elliot added another in the 22nd minute of the second half. On Saturday, Blaine went to Lakewood and came away victorious 1-0 on Kimberly Harmening�s goal in the last minute, assisted by her younger sister Andrea.

Tuesday afternoon Blaine put away a determined Lynden Christian team 3-1 in a contest that pitted sister against sister. Senior forward and homecoming queen Kimberly Harmening scored for Blaine just three minutes into the first half. Lia Vanderpol evened the score for Lynden Christian at the 33rd minute.

In the second half Blaine�s Alyssa Hendrickson crossed to junior defender Nicole Riddle who sent a booming kick 40 yards past Lynden keeper Jackie Hendrickson�s outstretched hands for a 2-1 Blaine lead.

With 15 seconds to go in the period junior mid Andrea Harmening put a cannon shot right on Hendrickson from point blank range. She deflected it only to have it rebound lazily to Blaine�s senior forward Krista Jones, who poked it in for the final 3-1 score.