Gridders ground down in 21-7 setback

"Good defense.The offense, you ask?Welllllllll ....Did we mention the good defense in the Bainbridge High School football team's 21-7 loss at White River last Friday night?Bainbridge kept the Hornets, one of the Pierce County League top-drawer teams, in offensive check all night in Buckley. The team forced three turnovers, and harassed the pass-happy opponents into a 50 percent passing night.Offensively, neither team could get much going, and I think the field conditions had a little something to do with that, assistant coach Jake Haley said. But defensively, we were solid all the way through.On offense, following a fumbled opening kickoff and Hornet score, Bainbridge got untracked early, capping a 90-yard drive with an 18-yard touchdown burst by junior Kenny Walker. White River (6-1) got 14 points of their own in the opening frame, and the rest of the contest settled into a near-standstill.Bainbridge's running game, one of its strengths all season, bogged down with barely 100 total yards on the night. Senior Lance Mazey, one of the team's two-way strengths all year, was made scarce on defense and gained zero yards on two rushes as a ballcarrier. He was injured and saw most of his playing time on defense.Of four other rushers, only Walker (13-53) and Andrew Linne (6-42) had even modest success.Another, senior Clayton Wiggins, was also hurt and played only defense. Both he and Mazey are expected back by Friday's game against Clover Park.Junior quarterback Clayton Hallum, effective in a comeback from a concussion the week before against North Mason, struggled with a 5-for-13 passing performance that included an interception. Fortunately, that was Bainbridge's lone turnover of the night.The Spartan defense, however, came up with an interception of its own - by linebacker P.J. Holton - and two fumble recoveries by Marc Rasmussen and Gary Duffner. Holton was also Bainbridge's tackling leader, recording nine solo sticks and two assists. Adam Smith, Scott Burkland, Chris Mandell, Jeff Tracy and Duffner each added four solo tackles.The better new is that Bainbridge's last two games of the season are eminently winnable. Clover Park, the host of this Friday's game, is struggling through a 1-6 season that most recently saw the Warriors gain just seven rushing yards in a 31-6 loss to North Mason last Friday. And Sequim, Bainbridge's final opponent in a Nov. 3 home game, sits squarely at the bottom of the PCL standings with a 0-6 mark.Central Kitsap JV 24, Bainbridge 21: The Spartans squandered an early lead in the late going and just missed a chance to tie as time ran out in a Monday night thriller.The Spartans, leading 21-18 late in the fourth quarter, fumbled the ball away with 2:50 remaining. Even though CK marched to the go-ahead score on their subsequent drive, a 92-yard kickoff return by Seth Jacobson brought the ball back to the Cougars' 8-yard line with seconds remaining - but a last-second field-goal attempt to force an overtime was blocked.Ian Laughlin scored on an 80-yard scamper in the first quarter. Andy Aversano added a 7-yard scoring run, and Seth Jacobson tallied Bainbridge's final score, on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Brandon Nall. The team next plays Monday at Port Townsend. "

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