Gridders win at Homecoming, stay unbeaten

Quarterback Chris Bell runs for a first down with Blanchet’s Jonathan Kroon in hot pursuit Friday at Memorial Stadium. Bainbridge defeated Bishop Blanchet 17-3 on Homecoming night.  - Brad Camp/for the Review
Quarterback Chris Bell runs for a first down with Blanchet’s Jonathan Kroon in hot pursuit Friday at Memorial Stadium. Bainbridge defeated Bishop Blanchet 17-3 on Homecoming night.
— image credit: Brad Camp/for the Review

Thanks to their 17-3 win over Bishop Blanchet Friday for the annual Homecoming game, the Bainbridge football team is now 4-0 for the first time since 2006.

That was the year that Quinton Agosta and the Gilbreath brothers Bryan and Dayton led the team to an 8-2 record and qualified for districts.

Down 3-0 to the Braves in the first quarter, junior quarterback Chris Bell – getting his first ever varsity start in place of a suspended Carson Zajonic – threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to JJ Wilford.

But Bainbridge struggled on offense for the rest of the first half, as they were forced to punt on their next drive. They also lost the ball deep into Blanchet territory in the second quarter when Corey Touchette fumbled. He had caught a pass from Bell on a fake punt for a 22-yard gain on the previous play.

Blanchet drove deep into Bainbridge territory, but Alex Coplan killed the drive with an interception.

On Bainbridge’s first drive in the second half, they drove deep into Brave territory as Coplan ran for eight yards on a fourth and seven, while Bell threw to Nick Miller for a big completion and a first and goal.

But Bell took a loss of 13 yards on a sack, pushing them back and ending any shot they had at a touchdown. Will Devereaux’s 38-yard field goal attempt was wide left.

Coplan picked off his second pass of the game on the Braves’ next drive, but Miller coughed up the ball deep into Brave territory to end another Spartan drive.

The Bainbridge defense forced Blanchet to punt again, but this time the Spartans hung onto the ball to get a score. Devereaux connected from 25 yards out to increase the lead to 10-3.

After another Brave punt, Touchette put the game away with his 80-yard jaunt on the first play of scrimmage. He bounced off a couple of tackle attempts, then simply ran away to leave the Blanchet defense in the dust. Touchette finished with 196 yards rushing.

That was it for the Braves as Eric Raustein and Miller intercepted passes to end any hope of a win. The defense held Blanchet to 193 yards of total offense.

The Spartans travel to West Seattle Stadium Friday to face off against Seattle Prep. Both teams want a win to improve their chances for a playoff spot.

Alex Crane is back for the Spartans after missing the Blanchet game due to disciplinary reasons, but Zajonic is still under suspension and will miss the Prep game.

The main focus for Bainbridge is to contain Nick Holt. The senior has lined up at quarterback and at running back for the Panthers this season and is dangerous in either position.

“You have to attack him defensively,” Grimm said. “You have to know where he is every play. What we’d like to see is to see him pass to beat us or have someone else beat us. If their fullback has a good game, we live with that, but the goal is to not let 10 beat us.”

Bell said they need to make sure they finish their tackles, especially against Holt who is tough to bring down.

“Missed tackles are the big thing,” he said. “They have a really good quarterback so we need to really work on tackling.”

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