Blaine junior Jalen Kortlever put in a lot of time preparing to be the starting quarterback for Blaine this season, Borderites coach Jay Dodd said.
Through the first two games, that work is definitely paying off.
Kortlever backed up his three-touchdown performance in Week 1 by throwing for four more scores on Friday, Sept. 11, in Blaine’s big 48-0 non-league win at Granite Falls.
“He’s really making outstanding reads,” Dodd said of Kortlever in a phone interview. “He worked on his game in the offseason. So far, he’s been delivering an accurate ball, and it’s going to the right guys. What’s nice for us, is we have a good wide receiving corps.
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“Sometimes at small schools, you only have one or two guys, and you kind of force it in there. We feel confident in four, five, even six skill guys. It allows the quarterback to throw to the open player and read the defense, and Jalen is doing a good job of that.”
Kortlever, who threw for 148 yards, found Josh Fakkema twice for touchdowns on throws of 40 and 18 yards, as well as Anthony Ball for a 1-yard score and Kendall Schroeder from 5 yards out.
Riley Fritsch and Garrett Adams also each rushed for more than 100 yards. Fritsch finished with 157 yards and two TDs, while Adams added 110 and another TD.
The Blaine defense also had a strong game, limited Granite Falls to 80 total yards, including 31 yards on 23 carries.
“Our defense has done a great job the first two weeks,” Dodd said. “We gave up 20 points in Week 1, but one touchdown was on a special teams return, and the other two were short drives. ... We’re doing a good job of tackling and swarming to the football and tackling as a team.”
The Borderites next open Northwest Conference 2A/3A play on Friday, Sept. 18, at Ferndale.
Blaine — Riley Fritsch 15 run (kick failed)
Blaine — Anthony Ball 1 pass Jalen Kortlever (Kyle Sentkowski)
Blaine — Josh Fakkema 40 pass from Kortlever (Sentkowski kick)
Blaine — Kendall Schroeder 5 pass from Kortlever (Sentkowski kick)
Blaine — Fritsch 44 run (Sentkowski kick)
Baline — Fakkema 18 pass from Kortlever (Sentkowski kick)
Blaine — Garrett Adams 65 run (Sentkowski kick)
RUSHING — Blaine: Riley Fritsch 13-157, Garrett Adams 11-110, Jon Anderson 4-23, Marcus Potts 4-(-4), Jalen Kortlever 2-(-7).
PASSING — Blaine: Jalen Kortlever 7-13-148-1, Marcus Potts 2-3-16-0
RECEIVING — Blaine: Josh Fakkema 3-77, Jonathan Starcer 2-65, Alfonso Dermendiez 2-16, Kendall Schroeder 1-5, Anthony Ball 1-1.