High School Football

Blaine has seen plenty of close games this year, but something was different about this one

After watching his team drop four of its first seven games of the season by six points or fewer, Blaine football coach Jay Dodd admitted he was worried late Friday night at Shoreline Stadium.

“When we didn’t get that last first down and had to punt, you start thinking, ‘Oh crud, here we go again,’” Dodd said. “But our defense stepped up and made some big plays. Cruz Rodriguez, a senior defensive end for us, wasn’t going to let us lose tonight. Porter Schmidt, another senior defensive lineman, he got after the quarterback real well.”

The result was Blaine’s first victory of the season – a 31-26 non-league win over Shorewood in a game that was added to the Borderites’ schedule Monday.

“It definitely was a huge monkey off our back,” Dodd said of his team getting its first win of the year. “It’s a great feeling, and the kids are super excited.”

Though Dodd said his team is quite banged up “like every other team,” he said he was pleased to see some youngsters step up and have big games filling in for injured starters. One of those, Dodd said, was junior Brian Davis, who “played at a spot in our secondary that he didn’t get any practice at this week,” but he still got two interceptions.

On offense, Julian Gonzalez had another big game, rushing for close to 200 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned a kick for a touchdown and nearly broke a second, while Rodriguez caught a TD pass.

Blaine returns to 2A Northwest Conference play Friday when it hosts Burlington-Edison.

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