When a 35-yard run by junior running back Jed Schleimer put the Mountaineers up two scores with roughly 4 and a 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter, coach Ron Lepper and his team knew they might about to have a special night. They had no idea how special.
“We had no idea,” Lepper said of what wound up being a record setting night for his young running back. “We were just trying to score more points than Nooksack.”
All told, Schleimer ended the night with a state record of 515 yards on the ground with six touchdowns in a 64-30 NWC 1A win over Nooksack Valley on Friday, Sept. 25. That broke a previous state record set in 2012 by Eisenhower’s Branden Curtis who rushed for 488 in a single game.
“I gotta give all the credit to my offensive line,” Schleimer said. “They battled all night for me.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
Mount Baker quickly jumped out to a 14-0 lead but a stingy and effective passing attack lead by sophomore quarterback Casey Bauman kept Nooksack in the game for much of the night. After Schleimer’s first score, Bauman marched the Pioneers down the field with their spread offense, capping off the drive with a short pass to junior running back Colton Kautz that Kautz turned into 29 yard touchdown.
The two teams traded touchdown with two touchdown drives a piece down the stretch until Schleimer was stopped at the 1 as the half expired. The score going into the half was Mount Baker 29-18.
The teams traded scores again to start off the second half. But as the game wore on, Schleimer and Baker’s running attack proved too much for the Pioneers. In the second half Schleimer added scoring runs of 37, 78 and 75 yards to outshine Bauman and the Pioneers’ brilliant night through the air. By the time back-up quarterback Carson Brandland took two knee downs to run out the clock the Mountaineers had taken the score to 64-30.
“Hats off to them. They knew they could spread us out and throw the ball. I was really impressed with their game,” Coach Lepper said after the game. “For us it’s not going to get any easier though. We got a tough game against Meridian next week to get ready for.”
MB -- Mason Bass 78 run (Jonathan Ehlers kick good)
MB – Jed Schleimer 35 run (Ehlers kick good)
NV – Colton Kautz 29 pass from Casey Bauman(kick no good)
MB – Schleimer 77 run (Ehlers kick good)
NV – Tre Silva 25 pass from Bauman (2 pt fail)
MB – Schleimer 55 run (Carson Engholm run for 2)
NV – Bauman 24 run (2 pt fail)
MB – Schleimer 37 run (Ehlers kick good)
NV – Kautz 28 run (2 pt fail)
MB—Thomas Barbo 32 pass from Bass (Ehlers kick good)
MB – Schleimer 78 run (Ehlers kick good) Fourth Quarter
NV -- Bauman run 2 (2 pt fail) Fourth Quarter
MB -- Schleimer 75 run (Ehlers kick good) Fourth Quarter
MB – Junior Camacho 9 run (Ehlers kick good) Fourth Quarter
RUSHING — Nooksack Valley: Casey Bauman 6-57, Colton Kautz 4-42, Joe McNeely 2-12. Mt. Baker: Jed Schleimer 21-515, Carson Engholm 8-28, Vadim Kotsyuba 2-18, Mason Bass 3-79, Jeremiah Cronk 3-15, Carson Brandland 1-2.
PASSING — Nooksack Valley: Casey Bauman 35-52-2-265, Joe McNeely 1-3-45. Mt. Baker: Mason Bass 1-6-1-45.
RECEIVING — Nooksack Valley: Kyle Veldman 9-77, Tre Silva 9-45, Colton Kautz 4-77, Michael Jackson 5-67, Michael O’Bryan 5-25, Joe McNeely 4-19. Mount Baker: Thomas Barbo 1-32-1.