Perhaps Blaine head football coach Jay Dodd may have sounded a bit unapologetic about his 2010 Borderite team throughout spring and summer turnouts. However, he and his players had heard the whispers of local pundits saying this would be the year that Blaine would slip back in the pack of the Northwest conference (NWC). After all, they lost 25 seniors, had to replace three bonafide playmakers and were starting a whispy thin, unproven quarterback.
The Borderites began the process of sharply refuting those doubts by shaking off a slow first quarter start to orchestrate an efficient 44-0 thrashing of visiting Notre Dame of B.C. on September 3 in a non-conference game.
“It took a little bit but it came together, “ said tailback Mario Gabbato, who rushed for 109 yards on 11 carries, including a lightning quick 63-yard touchdown burst late in the first quarter.
Gabbato’s rushing was only sauce for the goose though, as quarterback Sean Allen and receiver Todd Bird erupted on the Juggler secondary during a third quarter barrage, connecting on scoring strikes of 34, 13 and 45 yards. Allen finished the game with a scintillating 14 of 19, 263-yard performance with the three TDs to Bird and no interceptions. He was sacked three times. Bird’s numbers were just as audacious, grabbing nine passes for 223 yards. He also kicked four extra points.
“This is everything I’ve been waiting for,” said the exultant senior receiver, “to be the ‘go to’ guy.”
Lost in the glare of the 427 yards of total offense was the play of a nasty, physical defense that suffocated a Notre Dame’s offense that only ventured into Blaine territory twice in the game. The Borderites shut out the Jugglers, forcing three fumbles, getting six tackles for a loss, and holding them to a paltry 114 yards of total offense.
“They were chipping us a little,” noted lineman Channing Crews, “(but) we knew right away that we could dominate them.”
Tyler Chau and Andrew Miller also ran for touchdowns to complete the scoring.
The win was the most dominant performance during week one of the NWC schedule. The Borderites open conference play Friday, September 10 at Civic Field in Bellingham against the Squalicum Storm who lost to Ferndale 32-7.
Photo by Jeremy Schwartz