With the regular season over, Blaine retains Class 2A bi-district football playoff hopes, but the Borderites have no idea who they might play, much less when or where.
Blaine’s 17-12 loss to Burlington-Edison on Thursday, Oct. 27, dropped the Borderites to 6-3 overall and 4-3 in the Northwest Conference. The Tigers improved to 6-2 and 4-2.
That means Burlington must play Monday to finish a suspended game against district contender Lakewood (3-5, 3-3), a 47-13 winner over Bellingham on Thursday. Burlington led 21-7 when play was suspended in the second quarter earlier this season because of five fatal shootings at nearby Cascade Mall.
If Burlington prevails, Blaine also will win, because it would make the Tigers a No. 3 bi-district seed and the Borderites would be the No. 4 seed.
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If Lakewood wins, however, a Kansas Tiebreaker would be played Tuesday among Blaine, Burlington and Lakewood, since all three would be 4-3 in the league but only two may advance to bi-district behind Lynden and Sedro-Woolley.
A RECORD KICK
Blaine’s loss spoiled a big night for senior kicker Kyle Sentkowski, who booted a school-record 48-yard field goal in the first quarter and followed with a 38-yarder in the second quarter, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 7-6. Sentkowski, whose record kick sailed perhaps 10 yards over the cross bar, is 8 for 10 on unblocked field-goal attempts for the season.
Sentkowski had a third field-goal try blocked on the opening play of the fourth quarter. By that time, the Tigers led by the final 17-12 thanks to senior quarterback Hunter Anderson’s touchdown passes of 77 and 32 yards to Jacob Zamora, plus sophomore Oscar Ibarra’s field goal of 35 yards and two extra points.
Anderson completed 9 of 16 passes for 222 yards, with four passes for 134 yards to Zamora, and was intercepted by Blaine’s Alfonso Dermendziev and Brandon Watts. Anderson also rushed 15 times for 107 yards, even though that included four sacks for minus 25 yards.
ADAMS STEPS IN
Blaine senior Garrett Adams – who has improved so much he can give running back/linebacker Riley Fritsch needed breaks – scored on a 3-yard run in the third quarter, capping an 80-yard drive on 14 plays. Adams ran for 29 yards on the drive and Jalen Kortlever threw a 21-yard pass to Dermendziev to the 5-yard line on fourth-and-8.
Fritsch, who had two 30-yard runs, finished with 19 carries for 113 yards and Adams had 15 carries for 54 yards. Kortlever threw 13 times, completing six for 73 yards including four catches for 54 yards by Dermendziev.
Whatcom County pass receiving leader Anthony Ball tried to play in the opening quarter, but he could go for only a few plays because of a leg injury, coach Jay Dodd noted while praising Dermendziev’s improvement both offensively and defensively. Usually a cornerback, Dermendziev shifted to safety.
“We had some positives because we had guys come back from injuries (Cruz Rodriguez, Chase Abshere),” Dodd said. “And we had guys stepping up who hadn’t played much (linebacker Joe Robinson and offensive tackle Joshua Soto).”
“Our kids played hard,” the coach said. “If we can get all our guys back, along with the depth we’ve developed, I think we could be hitting on all strides.”
NOTE: Spelling of Joe Robinson’s name corrected Oct. 28, 2016.
Bla – Kyle Sentkowski 48 FG
BE –Jacob Zamora 77 pass from Hunter Anderson (Oscar Ibarra kick)
Bla – Sentkowski 38 FG
BE –Zamora 32 pass from Anderson (Ibarra kick)
BE –Ibarra 35 FG
Bla – Garrett Adams 3 run (pass failed)
RUSHING – Blaine: Riley Fritsch 19-113, Garrett Adams 15-54, Jalen Kortlever 2-(-1). Burlington: Hunter Anderson 14-95, Quyntin Frazier 10-20, Payton Henderson 8-14.
PASSING – Blaine: Kortlever 6-13-73-0. Burlington: Anderson 9-16-222-2.
RECEIVING – Blaine: Alfonso Dermendziev 4-54, Chase Abshere 1-14, Cruz Rodriguez 1-5. Burlington: Jacob Zamora 4-134, Axel Wilhonen 3-74, Caleb Sheldon 1-7, Frazier 1-7.