High School Football

Strong defense, explosive offense lead Blaine to important win

With heavy winds billowing through jerseys and knocking over footballs, the Blaine football team put on a dominant defensive show, putting away Lakewood 44-7 in a key 2A Northwest Conference game Friday, Oct.14.

While the Borderites’ defense held the Cougars without a touchdown until the fourth quarter, their offense was a nonstop powerhouse, pounding the ball with a dangerous running game commanded by senior running back Riley Fritsch. Fritsch ended the night with 162 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries.

Senior quarterback Jalen Kortlever also put on a show for the Borderites (5-2, 3-2 2A NWC). He threw for 138 yards and two touchdowns, including a 40-yarder down the right sideline to senior Anthony Ball. Ball, Whatcom County’s leading receiver entering the night, caught seven passes for 85 yards and hauled in Kortlever’s two touchdown throws.

Lakewood (2-5, 2-3 NWC) looked shaky against a strong defensive line and lost three fumbles. One of those happened on the Cougars’ 2-yard line, resulting in a Blaine score. Borderite senior Devyn Dickinson jumped on the loose ball and quickly scrambled into the end zone.

“I saw the ball and muscle memory kicked in,” Dickinson said. “We play on the ball so much in practice, I knew exactly what I needed to do.”

What it means

The win not only erased memories of a tough loss to Lynden from a week earlier, it also put the Borderites alone in fourth place in the 2A NWC standings, meaning if the season were to end today, they would be in line to advance to the district playoffs in Week 10.

Defense steps up

Despite allowing a lead to slip away last week against Lynden, Blaine coach Jay Dodd said he was confident in his defense.

“We got a lot of players to play tonight,” Dodd said. “Last week we just played 11 players, but this game we wanted to keep players fresh and provide energy throughout the game.”

Despite being scoreless until the fourth quarter, Lakewood’s offense had some production through the air. Freshman Jared Taylor replaced starting quarterback Austin Lane in the final quarter and connected on all of his passes, including the Cougars’ only touchdown. He finished the game with 45 yards and a touchdown.

Up next

Blaine hosts Sehome on Friday, Oct. 21, before wrapping up the regular season at Burlington-Edison.

Lakewood

0

0

0

7

7

Blaine

7

14

10

13

44

First quarter

Bla – Riley Fritsch 19 run (Kyle Sentkowski kick)

Second quarter

Bla – Devyn Dickinson 2 fumble return (Sentkowski kick)

Bla – Fritsch 34 run (Sentkowski kick)

Third quarter

Bla – Anthony Ball 2 pass from Jalen Kortlever (Sentkowski kick)

Bla – Sentkowski 19 FG

Fourth quarter

Bla – Ball 2 pass from Kortlever (Sentkowski kick)

Bla – Julian Gonzalez 31 run (kick failed)

Lak – Taylor Tresch 15 pass from Jared Taylor (Sydney Gormley kick)

Lak

Bla

First downs

9

17

Rushing Att-yards

19-42

34-241

Comp-Att-Int

15-25-0

12-23-0

Passing yards

94

138

Penalties-yards

4-30

5-45

Fumbles-lost

5-3

1-1

Individual statistics

RUSHING – Lakewood: Matt Ramirez 6-19, Jared Taylor 5-14, Jacob Stenberg 6-3, Austin Lane 1-3, Spencer Neiffer 1-3 Blaine: Riley Fritsch 26-170, Garrett Adams 4-22, Julian Gonzalez 2-34, Jalen Kortlever 2-15.

PASSING – Lakewood: Austin Lane 8-18-0-49, Jared Taylor 7-7-0-45. Blaine: Jalen Kortlever 23-0-138.

RECEIVING – Lakewood: Taylor Tresch 2-30, Brock Schubert 3-19, Matt Ramirez 4-15, Spencer Neiffer 2-11, Morgan Stacey 2-13, Isaac Maness 1-3, Brandt Starkey 1-3. Blaine: Anthony Ball 7-85, Eric Davis 1-25, Alfonso Dermendziev 2-6, Haden Anthony 1-12, Bryce Stanovich 1-10.

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