The tumultuous, vexing season for the Borderites football team ended with the ultimate “feel-good” scenario. Playing in the final football game of their high school careers, Blaine’s seniors mustered their finest offensive and defensive performance of the season, staking themselves a 56-0 halftime lead over hapless Granite Falls and then joyfully watching the reserves mop up a 56-14 home victory, Friday, November 5.
In what was an offensive blitzkrieg, it was senior quarterback Sean Allen who had his finest hour. In a performance that, at times, seemed almost painfully unfair to the visiting Tigers, Allen blistered the Granite Falls secondary for 337 yards and five touchdown passes on 15 of 17 passing attempts. His surgical precision meant that his favorite receivers, Todd Bird and Andrew Miller, were not required to make acrobatic catches as the Borderites looked as if they were hosting a practice scrimmage.
While the Borderite defense forced three fumbles and a turnover on downs, Blaine scored on all eight of its offensive possessions in the first half.
With the Borderites taking the opening kickoff, Allen completed four passes including a five-yard touchdown to Bird to post a 7-0 lead with only 48 seconds elapsed in the game. Four plays later Blaine recovered a Granite Falls fumble at the Tigers’ 15-yard line and converted that into a 2-yard touchdown pass to Bird. After a three and out punt by the Tigers, Allen again completed four consecutive passes, the final one to Andrew Miller from 30 yards out to move to a 21-0 lead.
Another fumble recovered by Tyler Chau was the spark of a three-play drive that was highlighted by a brilliantly deft sideline pass over a defender to Bird for a 25-yard touchdown. Blaine led 28-0 with 49 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Borderites did not take their foot off the gas however. After a Granite Falls punt on the opening drive of the second period, Allen hit a streaking Miller for a 47-yard touchdown bomb for a 35-0 lead.
Already with five touchdown passes, Allen sought one other goal for the season, which his friend Bird was happy to oblige with. After driving down to the Granite Falls eight-yard line, Bird took a pitch and ran left, than turned and threw a halfback option pass back to Allen who was wide open on the opposite side of the endzone for his first receiving touchdown of his career. Allen had rushed for a touchdown earlier this season.
Long touchdown runs by Chau and Dimitri Sampson rounded out the scoring and gave Borderite fans a glimpse of what they can expect next season.
Head football coach Jay Dodd, gushed over the senior class.
“These seniors are just great people,” he told his team after the game, “and they’ve done everything that we’ve asked of them.”
For Allen, it was the climax of a historic season statistically. He finished the season with 2,395 yards passing shattering the all-time, single season record at Blaine. He threw 28 touchdown passes against only eight interceptions as well as rushing and receiving for a touchdown each. Bird and Miller both finished the season with more than 1,000 yards receiving each.
“It’s great to win,” said a reflective Allen, “but it’s sad too, because I’ve been playing with these guys since sixth grade.”
While Sampson and Chau have given fans a preview of next season, there is the hint of a dark cloud on the horizon. Zach Aiken, penciled in to be the starting quarterback next season, sustained a serious hip injury in the final junior varsity game. Aiken said it could keep him out of the lineup next season, as the recovery is slow. Parker Wallace got to take much of the second half snaps of the game and may find himself the starter next season.
“It has been a disappointing season as far as our overall record,” Dodd said in an email. “We had playoff goals and higher expectations for ourselves. However, our kids stuck together and we had many positives come from this season.”