Sports

Gridders keep hope alive with win

(top) Senior running back Kauika Peleti stiff arms Seattle Prep’s David Schoettler, (middle) linebacker Kiyle Playter tackles Prep’s Joey DeRitis after taking the handoff from quarterback Paul Twining, (bottom) Ross Cobb avoids two Panther defenders. Bainbridge won 21-7. - Brad Camp/Staff Photos
(top) Senior running back Kauika Peleti stiff arms Seattle Prep’s David Schoettler, (middle) linebacker Kiyle Playter tackles Prep’s Joey DeRitis after taking the handoff from quarterback Paul Twining, (bottom) Ross Cobb avoids two Panther defenders. Bainbridge won 21-7.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photos

Cobb runs for 170 yards as defense comes up big all game long.

On Senior Night, the Bainbridge football team got a big performance from a junior – running back Ross Cobb – to help the Spartans defeat the Seattle Prep Panthers 21-7 Thursday night in front of a good-sized crowd.

Fifteen seniors from the football team and several from the cheerleading squad were honored in a pre-game ceremony.

“I didn’t really start to feel it until right at the start, but once you got all those emotions out and meet your parents, it felt good to be out there,” senior co-captain Mike Walsh said.

The Spartans had trouble getting their offense going at first.

“We didn’t expect to have so many (Prep) guys in the box,” senior co-captain Kauika Peleti said. “But once we figured out our blocking schemes and found we can run outside and have Ross jet up the sidelines, we had our game.”

Cobb, Dayton Gilbreath and quarterback Jordan Wagner used their legs to get Bainbridge down to the Seattle Prep 15-yard line, but the drive stalled.

Colin Feldtman came out to kick a 33-yard field goal with 2:13 left in the first quarter to give the Spartans the lead.

On their next drive, Wagner used his arm to score two big completions to Anthony Carter and Mike Walsh to get Bainbridge down to the 11-yard line.

But after a penalty and several plays for no gain, Feldtman came out to kick a 29-yard field goal.

After a Prep three and out, Bainbridge drove down the field to score, as Wagner finished it with a two yard sneak for the touchdown.

Gilbreath raced around the right end to make the two-point conversion.

Prep had two more drives before the half, but turned the ball over on downs on the first one and ran out of time on the second.

“We switched to a two-safety defense and we went man up (on their receivers),” Peleti said of their strategy. “We knew we’d have to come out fired up and it paid off.”

In the second half, it was more of the same.

Walsh ended another drive as he intercepted a pass before going out of bounds, but Bainbridge couldn’t turn it into anything.

After a Prep punt, Cobb took the handoff, raced around the right side and made some nice moves to score on a 51-yard run with 3:14 left in the third.

In the fourth, Prep caught a break when they tackled punter Kevin McCormick after a bad snap, but Sam Bice picked off quarterback Paul Twining on the next play.

Two plays later, Gilbreath fumbled it right back to them, but Prep’s next drive deteriorated after taking two delay of game penalties as the offense couldn’t figure out what play to run.

The confusion spread to the Bainbridge defense as Joey DeRitis was left wide open, but he dropped it.

He spiked the ball on the grass in frustration, drawing a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, with another flag thrown on Prep for good measure as one of the Panther players was caught using profanity.

The penalties pushed them out of scoring range and forced them to punt.

The Panthers finally got on the board with a two-yard run by Twining with 3:52 left in the game, but Bice, a senior, picked off Twining again with less than a minute left to close things out.

With its playoff hopes still alive, Bainbridge travels to Bishop Blanchet next Saturday with a spot at districts on the line.

Head coach Andy Grimm said the extra week will help with getting healthy.

“They’ll be amped up and ready to play,” he said.

Senior guard Gary French said they’ll have a fight on their hands come next Saturday.

“They want to get into the playoffs and so do we,” he said. “We have to work hard. It’s kind of a let down to go all this way and then just stop.”

Bainbridge may be without Chad Kakela as he sat out with a separated shoulder and James Herman, who came out after the first quarter with a knee sprain.

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