The Blaine football team's new spread offense took its first steps on Friday, Sept. 6, during the Borderites' 47-21 season-opening loss at Ferndale. Though the scoreboard might not have shown it, the Borderites started to grow into the new formation as the game progressed.
During the first half, Blaine struggled to find much offensive rhythm.
Quarterback Nathan Kramme hit only 1 of 7 passes for 17 yards and had two passes intercepted. Cole Muder did run for 67 yards on 10 carries, but for the most part, the Borderites just spun their wheels, generating only four first downs.
"We really hurt ourselves with mistakes," Blaine coach Jay Dodd said. "When you're making those mistakes, it's hard to find that rhythm. We kind of stalled out."
But the more Blaine, which ran the ball 78.7 percent of the time in 2012 and had the ground game account for 81.2 percent of their yardage and 82.3 percent of their touchdowns, ran its four-receiver sets and got used to looking over to the sideline for audibles, the more they seemed get comfortable with it.
Kramme hit 7 of 12 pass attempts in the second half for 156 yards, including an 11-yard and a 67-yard touchdown pass to Josiah Westbrook, who finished with 100 yards receiving.
Kramme showed he was equally capable of running the ball, picking up 63 yards on 10 second-half carries, including a 13-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Dodd credited his offensive line for helping settle down the fledgling offense.
"We've got some big, strong guys, and they started to come together tonight, especially in the second half," Dodd said. "The guys were excited, and they came out and played really well for us."
LC DEFENSE SHUTS DOWN OMAK
Though sophomore quarterback Lucas Roetcisoender's 101-yard passing night caught everyone's attention during Lynden Christian's 34-3 victory over Omak, it was the Lyncs' defense that made the biggest difference.
The Lyncs held the Pioneers to 151 yards of total offense and recovered two Omak fumbles.
Omak only managed 16 first downs in the game, as the Lyncs' defense figured out the diverse rushing attack of the Pioneers' Brandon Landers, Danny Gomez-Pacheco, Dustin Thorp and Alexander Aguilar. Aguilar's 59 rushing yards came mostly on broken plays following fumbled snaps or after he avoided the LC pass rush.
Midway through the second quarter and facing a third-and-11, Aguilar dropped back and was hounded by four Lynden Christian defenders. He ducked under one tackle and scampered away from the remaining defenders for a 15-yard gain for a first down.
The Lyncs have a new defensive coordinator in Dan Kaemingk, who served as the team's head coach for 21 years and led them to a state title in 1997 before stepping down following the 2010 season.
BALL SECURITY KEY FOR MERIDIAN
The Trojans were playing from behind before they got into any sort of rhythm during their 42-28 non-conference loss against Burlington-Edison Friday, Sept. 6, in Burlington.
The reason: ball security, or lack thereof.
Including a turnover on downs on Meridian's opening drive, the Trojans turned the ball over four times to start the game. New quarterback Tanner Tutterrow showed promising signs, throwing for 299 yards and two scores, but a handful of interceptions, fumbles and Tutterrow taking sacks plagued Meridian throughout.
Once Tutterrow got the Trojans offense into a groove, Meridian was already behind 28-6.
"He's got a lot to learn," said Ames of Tutterrow. "He can't hold onto the ball, and he'll have to learn to read that outside linebacker when throwing hitches. I think the linebacker made two great plays, and those balls shouldn't have been thrown. But he'll get better."
Meridian finished the game with three interceptions, three lost fumbles and three turnovers on downs.