Mount Baker had a short week of preparation, as its Week 2 game against Oroville wasn’t finalized until Monday night.
But that was about the only thing that was short for the Mountaineers on Friday, Sept. 12, as they went the distance to bounce back from a tough loss to Sedro-Woolley with a 54-6 victory.
Following the theme of its 230-plus mile trip just to play the game, Mount Baker scored no fewer than six touchdowns that covered more than 25 yards, and kicker Zane Smith tacked on a school-record 53-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the first half.
“It was a long bus ride over, of course, but the guys came out and battled,” Mountaineers coach Ron Lepper said in a phone interview. “In the second half, we got everyone in. It was a good way for us to bounce back from last week.”
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Things got off to an inauspicious start, though, as Zach Yurchuk slipped down at the 8 with the opening kickoff, but two plays later he raced 83 yards for the first touchdown of the game.
“That was big, because it got everybody going,” Lepper said.
It certain did, as Carson Schmidt added a 28-yard touchdown reception from Mason Bass and Liam Short and Jed Schleimer scored on runs of 28 and 26 yards, respectively, before the first quarter was over.
After Smith booted a 25-yard field goal — a baby compared to the kick at the end of the second quarter — Bass hooked up with Schleimer and Ruvim Tikhonov on 34- and 36-yard touchdown passes to give the Mountaineers a comfortable lead.
But before, with four second left in the half, Mount Baker got a turnover and sent out Smith for his record-breaking attempt, which was true, making the halftime score 47-0.
“We broke a number of tackles and got some big plays early, and that really helped us build some momentum,” Lepper said.
After Oroville got on the board in the fourth quarter, Thomas Barbo answered with a 15-yard touchdown — the Mountaineers’ shortest of the game, but Barbo’s first varsity score.
Barbo finished with 70 yards on nine carries, joining Schleimer (five rushes, 89 yards), Yurchuk (two for 85) and Brandon Breitenstein (one for 45) with big nights on the ground. Bass finished 5 for 7 for 110 yards through the air.
Though Lepper said he was pleased with the play of his defense, he said he wants to see the team cut down on the four turnovers it had in the game.
Mount Baker will try to knock that number down on Friday, Sept. 19, when it travels to Cascade.
MB — Zach Yurchuk 83 run (kick failed)
MB — Carson Schmidt 28 pass from Mason Bass (Zane Smith kick)
MB — Liam Short 28 run (Smith kick)
MB — Jed Schleimer 26 (Smith kick)
MB — Smith 25 FG
MB — Schleimer 34 pass from Bass (Smith kick)
MB — Ruvim Tikhonov 36 pass from Bass (Smith kick)
MB — Smith 53 FG
Oro— Logan Mills 40 run (kick failed)
MB — Thomas Barbo 15 run (Jonathan Ellers kick)
RUSHING — Mount Baker: Thomas Barbo 9-70, Jed Schleimer 5-89, Liam Short 3-39, Zach Yurchuk 2-85, William Pilat 2-10, Johnny Matta 2-22, Jeff Anderson 3-3, Jeremiah Cronk 2-6, Brandon Breitenstein 1-45, Mason Bass 1-(-6). Oroville: N/A.
PASSING — Mount Baker: Bass 5-7-110-1. Oroville: N/A.
RECEIVING — : Mount Baker: Scheleimer 2-37, Schmidt 1-28, Matta 1-9, Kikanoff 1-36. Oroville: N/A.