In a massive turnaround, scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter against rival Nooksack Valley, Blaine turned their season into a winning one on senior night last Friday.
Early into the fourth quarter the Borderites were down 21-13 to the Pioneers and the team and nearly full stadium looked dejected.
The Borderites started the game flying, grabbing a 13-0 lead early into the second quarter. Senior Jaxon Kortlever and senior quarterback Avery Dohner combined for the first and Dohner rushed in the second. Kortlever also returned an interception for a touchdown in the first quarter but it was called back due to a penalty. But the Pioneers would respond with a 90-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Joey Brown and a 68-yard touchdown pass from Brown to senior tight end Caleb Kingma. They led 14-13 at halftime.
The game lulled in the third quarter with neither team able to make up much ground on the other. When the Pioneers scored again early into the fourth quarter, the packed stadium grew quiet, except for the three-row Nooksack Valley student section.
“We can’t stop this defense,” senior Peyton Dixon grumbled walking off the field. In a matter of moments, his spirits, the teams and the some 400 fans would be lifted. And the Nooksack defense would be broken.
With just over six minutes remaining, down 21-13, Dohner found senior wide receiver Scott Baldwin with what looked like an overthrown deep pass. Baldwin did well to hold onto it and stay on his feet. Stumbling, Baldwin cut back on the oncoming defense to be brought down shortly after, giving Blaine a 59-yard gain, and a spark.
Junior running back Larry Creasey would take over from there, converting an eight-yard first down gain on 4th-and-3 and scoring from two yards out on the next play. Down 21-19 with 4:17 left, the Borderites went for the two-point conversion and got it, with Dohner finding Kortlever with an immediate pass.
Tied at 21, the Borderites kicked it deep. The Pioneer returner lost hold of the ball, and Blaine junior Kael Evinger recovered it on Nooksack’s 21-yard line. Creasey would score again from two yards out five plays later, giving Blaine the lead with 1:53 remaining.
Nooksack couldn’t stand the rising pressure, bobbling the kickoff again. The returner was brought down this time on the 15-yard line. But they would give it back on the next play.
Senior defensive end Alex Welch jumped the swing pass, intercepted and returned it nine yards to the end zone, putting a bow on his high school football career. Blaine won 35-21.
Kortlever finished his varsity career with a career-high 14 receptions and 111 yards. Creasey finished with a team-high 69 yards on 18 carries. Defensively, senior linebacker Danny Michaud, who had 7.5 tackles, two tackles for a loss and a forced fumble, led Blaine. Kortlever also made some big defensive tackles from his safety position.
The Borderites finished their season with a 4-3 record.
Statistics and play-by-play thanks to Whatcompreps.com
The Lady Borderites beat Meridian in penalties last Saturday to advance in the division 1 and 2 girls soccer play-offs. They will play again Saturday, November 6, in Sammamish. A time and oppenent has yet to be determined.
Blaine entered the post-season as the first seed in their region with an 8-7 record.
The girls finished off their season at Meridian Tuesday night, losing to Mount Baker in straight sets. Blaine had a tough end to the season, losing eight straight games in straight sets. They finished the season with a 3-13
Correction: This story was updated November 4 to correct when the Blaine girls soccer team would play next. We regret the error.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here