SPORTS by Jack Kintner
Borderites nipped by storm in 3 OT game, 22-21
It was a cold and still Friday night on the carpeted asphalt of the Whatcom Creek Gulch. Blaine played the 2-3 Squalicum Storm valiantly as always, but lost the closest game they’ve played so far by one point, 22-21, in triple overtime.
The difference was the 90-yard touchdown runback that began the second half to put the storm up 7-6. This was after Blaine capped the first half with a long march to paydirt on the back of Casey McCabe followed along with a good defensive effort that held the Squalicum running game pretty well motionless. In the end, the Storm managed only 32 yards on the ground to Blaine’s 52 (the touchdown runback doesn’t count in the over-all stats).
But a lapse in special team coverage at the beginning of the second half, just when Blaine seemed to have generated some momentum to close the second quarter, allowed Squalicum’s 6’3” 210 pound running back Stephen Foster to go all the way from his own ten yard line pretty much straight through the right side of Blaine’s defense. Brandon Sanford’s kick put them ahead by one.
With starting senior quarterback Daniel Gorze under the weather part of the preceding week, head coach Jay Dodd made more used of the taller (by three inches) but lighter (by 15 pounds) junior Jordan McCarty, whose mother said earlier that this night would face her with a tough choice – go to B.C. Place to see her other son, Calvin, play fullback for the Edmonton Eskimos against the B.C. Lions or to Civic Field to see Jordan start for Blaine.
The first half was pretty much a tight defensive struggle, with interceptions for both sides reversing fortunes. McCarty, the one playing for Blaine, ended up completing eight of 14 passes for 82 yards, including a third quarter touchdown pass to Trevor Chau that pulled Blaine within two points, 14-12. Gorze then tied the score on a neat pass to Chau for the two point conversion.
The overtimes begin at the 25 yard line, and each team is given a chance to score. They must either take it in or get a first down but no time is kept. If one team scores and keeps the other one from doing so then they win. In the third overtime the ball moves to the ten, and after that it’s sudden death.
Blaine had plenty of chances and lots of heroics, and worked hard all night, especially the D-line. They all can hold their heads up afterward despite the outcome. Josh Jones intercepted a Storm pass in the first overtime, and Al Bohnson blocked a field goal attempt in the second, a gutty play that requires the strength of a bulldozer and the willingness of a kamikaze pilot.
In the third overtime Gorze connected with Jacob Rogers for 6 followed by a Keith Sentkowkski kick to go up 21-14. The storm scored on the first play of their half of the OT, and won it on a two-point conversion.
Next opponent (7 p.m. at Blaine Stadium) is a small, fast and tough undefeated Burlington squad that’s ranked third after going 6-0 so far. Blaine could win it – it’s got an emotional edge from this being the next to last home game – but to do so they’ll have to focus on every second of every play. This week’s game showed they can do just that.
Blaine soccer, volleyball and cross-country round-up
Blaine loses to LC 3-2
Blaine lost two games last week, dropping a 5-1 decision to Bellingham at Northwest Soccer Fields and a close and physical game 3-2 Tuesday at home.
In Bellingham, the 8-3 Red Raiders showered the goal with 18 shots, giving Blaine goal keeper Janelle Gobbato a workout. She had 11 saves, but with one of the Red Raiders getting a hat trick Bellingham went up 5-0 before Sam Nault scored in the 60th minute to avoid the shut-out.
Lynden Christian’s Kenzie Deboner also scored three goals to lead the Lynx past Blaine 3-2 at the Pipe. Blaine’s Bailey Richardson scored twice in two minutes to tie the score before LC got the winner with just five minutes left.
The loss puts Blaine at 3-9 over-all, 1-8 in conference. The Lady B’s next meet Mount Vernon on October 16 and Nooksack on October 21 on the road before returning home on Wednesday the 22 against Sedro-Woolley.
Two Blaine thinclads make
their mark in Lakewood
Blaine runners Kiersten Sigfusson and Tim Bradley placed well at Lakewood’s Hole in the Wall Invitational last Saturday. Sigfusson finished 10th over-all on the 5 kilometer course with a time of 20 minutes, 15.9 seconds. Bradley, one of the top runners in the league this year, finished seventh with a time of 16 minutes, 33.2 seconds, just 18.2 seconds off his 16:15 set three days earlier at the airport meet in Burlington.
They next compete at the conference meet at 2 p.m. on October 23 at Civic Field in Bellingham.
Lady B’s defeat Bellingham,
lose to Lynden Christian
Blaine had its hands full with a scrappy Bellingham side before prevailing 3-2 in five games 21-25, 25-19, 18-25, 25-16 and 15-7. Senior setter Kristen Stanovich set the ball 121 times with 32 assists and only 10 errors while Veronica Rooney had 23 kills and a run of aces in the fifth game to total six for the five game series. Libby Moore had nine kills.
“It was a total team effort and we are now 2-5 league. We need to win most of the seven games we have left to be in the running for post season play,” said head coach Nikki Hallberg.
The Lady B’s then faced L C at home on Tuesday and lost in three straight games 25-17, 30-28 and 25-20. They may have lost more than that as Rooney was pulled late in the close second game with a knee injury. The win and loss puts Blaine at 3-6, 2-6 in conference, and means they must win most of their remaining games to make it into post-season play, according to Hallberg.
For the week of October 13
10/9 Bellingham 5, Blaine 1
10/14 LC 3, Blaine 2
10/9 Blaine 3, Bellingham 2
10/14 LC 3, Blaine 2
10/10 Squalicum 22, Blaine 21, 3 OT