Borderite football suffered another blowout loss on September 7, this time on the road against the formidable Sehome Mariners, 44-6. It was a historic day for Sehome quarterback Nolan Wright, who became the sixth passer in Whatcom County history to throw for six touchdown passes in a single game, but a forgettable day for the Borderites.
“Ultimately, we just didn’t finish drives,” head coach Andy Olson said. “I thought we played a lot better than we did in week one, but Sehome’s a pretty good opponent. We’d move the ball and then we’d stall out, or we’d get [Sehome] to third down and we couldn’t get them off the field.”
Olson said one of the team’s most important goals was to cut down on turnovers, which plagued the Borderites during week one’s 44-21 loss to Port Angeles. While turnovers were, in fact, cut down on September 7 the Borderite defense simply couldn’t contain Sehome’s explosive passing offense.
One bright spot for Blaine was the improvement of the running game, which saw junior running back tandem Rommel Paez and Colby Shipp combine for 151 yards on 22 carries, with Shipp earning Blaine’s lone touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
“We did run the ball effectively on the ground,” Olson said. “And our running backs hit the holes really hard. I was really impressed with both those young men, they played hard, and they’re juniors so that’s pretty exciting stuff right there.”
Blaine football now falls to 0-2 on the young season, and looks to bounce back at home against Vashon Island for the Borderites’ first win.
“We recognize that this is a marathon, not a sprint,” Olson said. “We know that it’s going to take a while for us to get to where we want to be.”
Blaine will play Vashon Island at the Borderite Stadium on Friday, September 15 at 7 p.m.
Statistic provided by Whatcompreps.com
Less than 10 minutes into the new girls soccer season, senior midfielder Lucy Dahl netted the Borderites’ first goal of the year. After collecting a corner kick, the upperclassman found the back of the net for Blaine’s lone goal on the day.
But the visiting 2A Sedro-Woolley Cubs answered back just a few minutes later with an equalizer, and the two teams would find themselves ensnared in a bitter 1-1 draw for the remainder of the match.
Head coach Gio Quesada-Ruiz said he was impressed with his team’s performance in the first half, but that it wasn’t consistent for the full match.
“It was two different games,” Quesada-Ruiz said. “The first half was all Blaine. The second half, the team was tired and I think the team started panicking.”
Early season conditioning issues are common, and something that should be fixed as the season progresses, Quesada-Ruiz said. The goal-scoring excitement of the first half slowly morphed into a defensive slog in the second half, forcing junior goalkeeper Larissa Pluschakov to make multiple high-wire-act saves throughout the game.
The reigning Northwest Conference Defensive MVP tallied multiple saves, and kept Blaine in the game, despite Sedro-Woolley constantly pressuring the Borderite defense.
Another standout performance belongs to junior midfielder and team captain Juliana Zuzarte, who dominated possession of the ball in the transition areas of the pitch all game for the Borderites.
“Juliana [Zuzarte] is effort, effort, effort,” Quesada-Ruiz said. “Everything she’s doing is for the team. She tries to put the team on her back. She has so much confidence, she played three years in a row, but the only way to bring that confidence to the rest of the team is playing time.”
The Borderites will take their one-point draw and continue on into the fast-paced soccer season with a road game on Thursday, September 14 against Burlington-Edison at 6 p.m.
Blaine volleyball started the year off with a pair of tough, straight-set losses to Anacortes on September 6, and at home against Sehome on September 11.
The pair of losses sandwiched a standout performance at the AMHS Volleyball Classic, a multi-team tournament that saw the Borderites beat multiple class 3A and 4A teams. Why that success couldn’t translate to official games, head coach Jacquie Smith is still trying to parse out.
“Based on what I watched at Anacortes and our tournament over the weekend, last night’s team was a completely different team,” Smith said, referring to the 3-0 loss to Sehome. “I don’t know if they were nervous because it was a home game, but they just really struggled.”
Even with a budding star like Western Washington University-commit Teya Zaddack hammering spikes throughout the September 11 match, it wasn’t enough for the Borderites to even pick up a single set against Sehome. Smith said that team success only begins when they can consistently return the serves coming at them, which she said she didn’t see with Sehome.
“Our serve-receive was, for lack of a better phrase, not great,” Smith said. “When we can’t serve-receive well, we can’t run our offense and that was a struggle for us.”
The volleyball season moves quickly, and the Borderites was scheduled to go on the road to face Ferndale on Wednesday, September 13 at 7 p.m. Blaine’s next home game will be against Lynden Christian on Thursday, September 21 at 7 p.m.
The Blaine cross-country season began on September 9 at the Gear Up Northwest XC Preview at Sehome High School. Blaine JV boys had a great day in the two-mile course near Civic Stadium, placing first overall with a team score of 39.
Four Blaine JV runners placed with top-10 times, with Steven Phelps-McDonald, Ian Tuski, Owen Woodworth and Tucker Greene running times of under 13 minutes, 30 seconds.
Blaine cross-country’s next event was planned for Wednesday, September 13 in Anacortes at 4:30 p.m. The Borderites’ one and only home race will be at Pipeline Field on Wednesday, September 27.
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