It may have started ugly for Blaine’s football team, but boy, did it finish in style.
Jalen Kortlever’s laser strike to Jonathan Starcer, whose crossing route netted him a 60-yard touchdown, was right on the money to give Blaine a 35-28 lead after the extra point with 1:36 left.
The Borderites forced Anacortes to a turnover on downs and walked away with the seven-point victory Friday, Oct. 9, in front of an ecstatic homecoming crowd.
“Just a lot of grit, a lot of fight,” Borderites coach Jay Dodd said of his team. “Anacortes is a good football team.”
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The Seahawks showed just how good early in the game, taking the first drive 91 yards for a score before Trystan Lowry’s 55-yard pick-6 made it 13-0 just nine minutes in.
We started slow for sure, but Riley Fritsch was a power this game.
Blaine receiver Anthony Ball
But the Borderites weren’t going away. They handed the ball to cowbell back Riley Fritsch 16 times in the first half, as he picked up 113 rushing yards and two touchdowns – five-yard and nine-yard scores – in the opening 24 minutes.
“Riley did a great job finding the holes,” Dodd said. “He was very patient and our line did really well.”
Fritsch finished the day with 36 carries and 238 yards.
“We started slow for sure,” Blaine receiver Anthony Ball said. “But Riley Fritsch was a power this game, the way he ran the ball.”
It was Blaine’s passing game and Ball getting the scores in the second half, though.
The Borderites opened the half with a 60-yard drive capped by a 20-yard play-action touchdown pass from Kortlever to a diving Ball to make it 20-16 and give Blaine its first lead of the night.
Ball’s heroics continued with a diving catch in the back of the end zone off a 15-yard pass from Kortlever, who Ball called his “best friend.”
“It may be his first year at varsity but he knows football,” Ball said. “I trust him a lot.”
Ball’s second score took back the lead with 2:34 left in the game after the Seahawks scored on a quarterback sneak from Camden McLaughlin to make it 22-20 late in the third. McLaughlin tallied 228 passing yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts.
Trailing 28-22 with just 2:34 to play was no trouble for the Seahawks. On their first play of the possession, McLaughlin connected with the speedy Lowry, who redeemed himself after dropping a certain TD earlier, for an 80-yard score.
The extra-point was blocked to keep the score even at 28, setting up the game-winning score by Starcer.
Blaine moves to 2-2 in the Northwest Conference and 4-2 overall, as the Borderites get set to face Burlington-Edison in next Friday’s contest. Anacortes will take on Sedro-Woolley next Friday.
Anacortes – Austin Myers 40 pass from Camden McLaughlin (Zachary Bowman kick)
Anacortes – Trystan Lowry 55 interception return (kick fail)
Blaine – Riley Fritsch 5 run (Kyle Sentkowski kick)
Ana – Bowman 24 FG
Blaine – Fritsch 9 run (kick blocked)
Blaine – Anthony Ball 20 pass from Jalen Kortlever (Sentkowski kick)
Anacortes – McLaughlin 1 run (kick blocked)
Blaine – Ball 15 pass from Kortlever (Kortlever run)
Anacortes – Lowry 80 pass from McLaughlin (kick blocked)
Blaine – Jonathan Starcer 60 pass from Kortlever (Sentkowski kick)
RUSHING — Anacortes: Camden McLauglin 7-(-8), Trystan Lowry 2-2, Colten Frost 1-2, P.J. Monroe 25-84. Blaine: Jalen Kortlever 2-(-15), Riley Fritsch 36-238.
PASSING — Anacortes: Camden McLaughlin 9-16-0-228. Blaine: Jalen Kortlever 10-18-1-181.
RECEIVING — Anacortes: Trystan Lowry 5-132, Austin Myers 2-51, Carson Buckles 1-30, Isaac Tiessen 1-15. Blaine: Jonathan Starcer 1-60, Layton Hagee 2-21, Josh Fakkema 2-21, Anthony Ball 5-79.