In its first game, Blaine varsity football got the inspiration it needed coming off a disappointing 2017 season, beating Earl Marriott Secondary School from Surrey 65–0.
“It was a great start – a good confidence booster,” said Blaine head coach Jay Dodd. “There’s a lot of things we want to change from last season and every indication from Friday night shows we’re changing those things.”
The game was a particularly good test for Blaine’s defense, Dodd said. The Borderites held Earl Marriott to a negative 2 yards of total offense.
“We really swarmed the ball and executed on defense,” Dodd said. “We got a lot of tackles for a loss and we had a lot of sacks. That’s a tribute to our linebackers.”
Because Blaine racked up its score on relatively few plays, the Borderites offensive didn’t get quite the same test, Dodd said. Oscar Caridad, Jacob Westfall, Danyil Tkachov and Thaiyron Foeung rushed in touchdowns, and Westfall, Chase Abshere and Derek Machula caught passes in the end zone.
Machula also returned a kickoff for a touchdown and Hudson Reid scored on a blocked punt.
New sophomore quarterback Will McKinney completed 6 of 7 pass attempts for a total of 60 yards.
“He was very efficient with the ball. He’s executing at a very high level and he still has so much room to improve,” Dodd said. “When you see him throughout the season he’s just going to get better and better.”
While many of Blaine’s returning starters played well, some new guys also stood out.
“A lot of players stepped up and were surprises for us,” he said. “Derek Machula is a terrific football player. I could see it in practice, but when you get out there and see it in a game – he’s a very smart football player, and he understands what we’re doing.”
Machula, a senior, transferred to Blaine High School this year.
“Ryan Turnberg and Zane Rector were also surprises,” Dodd said. “Zane blocked two punts and Ryan made a couple big special teams tackles, and those are things that we haven’t seen from them before.”
Earl Marriott is not in Blaine’s conference, and Friday night’s win may not be a gauge for how Blaine will do against other opponents. On one hand, Earl Marriott’s JV team beat Blaine’s. On the other, the varsity team suffered several minor injuries and was playing with a backup quarterback by the end of the second quarter.
Blaine plays next at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 7 at Redmond High School against Cedar Park Christian School (1–0). The Borderites’ next home game is at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 14, against Lynden Christian.