Sports

"Spartans drum Fife for first win, 17-12"

"The smell of victory was in the air even before the Spartan football team got on the board.The Homecoming battle proved sweet for Bainbridge as the Sparts edged Fife 17-12 in front of an electric crowd, charged with students, parents, alumni and friends.To an inattentive fan, the only aroma permeating the cool, drizzly evening as the Trojans garnered the first points of the night, rose from the Bainbridge Boosters' burger-broiling barbecues.But the extra point kick missed for the Trojans and the capacity Spartan crowd voiced not just relief, but a growing vocal urgency to fuel the Bainbridge charge midway through the first quarter.After the two teams traded a couple of possessions, Bainbridge junior Andrew Linne countered back through Trojan defenders for a 45-yard scamper. A penalty added onto the big run put the Spartans knocking on Fife's door on the 12-yard line. Runs by Lance Mazey and Linne put the ball at the Trojan 1-yard line, when a fumble in the endzone gave the ball back to the visiting Fife boys.The disappointment did not slow the Spartan homecoming night spirit, however. Bainbridge forced a Fife punt and pounded back into range. Linne broke free down the near sideline, and outran the defenders to score on a 14-yard counter. Jeff Tracy started his perfect night with the point-after for a 7-6 lead.After the halftime festivities, Bainbridge wasted little time. The Spartans took advantage of a Fife fumble deep in Trojan territory, and scored when quarterback Clayton Hallum found receiver Teddy Picha in the left-hand corner of the endzone. Tracy put Bainbridge up 14-6.The Spartans held the lead as the third quarter faded into the fourth. The Bainbridge offense refused to let the Trojan offense past midfield, and the Spartans got back on the board midway through the final quarter on an impressive 36-yard field goal from Tracy, 17-6.Powered by the hard-nosed running of senior running back Joe Query, Fife finally got a drive going as the fourth quarter clock waned. Trojan quarterback Jason Smerer hooked up with tight end Darrin Martin on a quick pass down the middle to score from 17 yards out.While Fife looked to be gathering some momentum, the two-point conversion attempt quickly shifted that tide. Smerer dropped back, but was quickly pulled to the turf by Spartan sophomore linebacker Andy Aversano to nullify the attempt.Fife had one more chance with the ball as the clock ticked under a minute to go, but four straight incomplete passes gave the ball back to Bainbridge and the victory to the hungry Spartan home crowd.Bainbridge head coach Andy Grimm said on film, Fife looked stronger than Yelm, narrow victors over the Spartans the previous week. However, a tough Bainbridge defense and pumped-up Spartan offense proved the difference.Grimm noted the continued maturity and tough play of Hallum.He hadn't played quarterback until this year, Grimm said. He struggled early (in the season) but that was going to happen against those top teams.Hallum finished the game hitting on 8-for-12 passing with 73 yards.A balanced backfield proved another big key for the Spartan victory. Bainbridge dug in with tough running by Mazey (17 carries for 63 yards); senior Clayton Wiggins chewed up big chunks of real estate (10 carries for 53 yards); and Linne caught Fife off balance with big gainers on counters (8 carries for 87 yards). Grimm also made a point to note the continued journeyman play of senior center Garrett Soames and senior two-way player Clinton Brandell.A lot of emotion rides on this game, Grimm said. We banked on that all through the week. A lot of people would be coming out.The victory put the Spartan season record at 1-3, with a trip to Franklin Pierce this week. The trip south brings another nostalgic challenge for Grimm. After graduating from Pacific Lutheran University, Grimm's first coaching job was for a middle school program that fed the Franklin Pierce team.The wing-T Cardinals, 35-12 winners over NorthMason last Friday, feature fast quarterback Aaron Joseph, not afraid to roll out and continue right around the corner and down the field.We have to try to control the ball, Grimm said. We'll have to do stuff real well to pull off a victory. We need to make them earn everything.Bainbridge JV 20, Klahowya 0: Bainbridge got rushing touchdowns from Spencer Evans, Kenny Walker and Robby Furth in a Monday night home contest to improve to 3-0-1 on the season. Michael Wauters contributed two extra points. The team next plays a road game Monday in Gig Harbor. "

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