It seems as if the tide has begun to turn for the Bainbridge High varsity football team. They played their best game of the season Friday, Oct. 18 at home against Hazen High School with a final score of 49-35 Hazen.
Unfortunately it may be too little too late for the Spartans as it was also their last home game of the season.
“The kids are getting better,” said Spartan Head Coach Andy Grimm. “I think they played hard and I love to see them be rewarded on the score board.”
BHS was on the losing end of a 35-7 score at the end of the first half, but managed a return to play that was nothing short of impressive.
The defense managed to keep the Hazen team from gaining any more ground, as the Spartan offensive scored the first touchdown of the third quarter followed by three more touchdowns in the final quarter.
According to Grimm, this was offensively the team’s best game of the season so far.
However, he said the Spartans have some work to do on the defensive side.
“We’re a ways away on defense and that’s just doing a better job on tackling and keeping people corralled,” he said.
Grimm went on to say that the Spartans had a hard time dealing with the overall superior speed of the Hazen team.
“We don’t have super fast kids,” he said. “You have to get to them before they get going. Once they get through the line, it’s just tough to chase them down.”
“We made some mistakes,” Grimm said.
Spartan quarterbacks Kyle Jackson and Taylor Wilson split the game. Jackson passed a total of 61 yards while Wilson passed 17. Touchdowns were scored by Tino Peleti, two by Duncan McCombs as well as two by Wilson.
Wilson also led the team in rushing efforts, successfully completing 20 carries for 82 yards. Peleti managed 11 carries for 77 yards, Jackson racked up 12 carries for 55 yards.
Paris Amore finished the game with two carries for eight yards and Duncan McCombs had one carry for three yards.
Receiving efforts were not as impressive.
Connor Teddy finished the game with one reception for 15 yards, McCombs completed two receptions for 32 yards, Max Wickline racked up two receptions in 16 yards and Jeremy Greer managed one reception for 15 yards.
The Bainbridge defensive team played at an all-time best with several players racking up numerous tackles.
Amore led the defensive team with 11 unassisted tackles and two assisted. Max Thomas completed 10 unassisted and two assisted tackles while Greer and Jarett Grimm both finished with six unassisted and one assisted tackle.
Peleti also managed six unassisted and one assisted tackle while Greer finished the game with seven unassisted tackles.
Sacks were made by Dylan Read, Ryan Comstock, Ben Fisher and Peleti.
Three players managed kick-off returns.
Amore lead the effort with five returns with a total of 124 yards. Wilson managed one return for 25 yards and Mitchell Stahl ended the game with one return for seven yards.
Concerning the renewed enthusiasm the team showed returning to the second half, Grimm said that there was no dramatic moment in the locker room to credit — just hard work.
“I don’t think it was any magic words,” he said.
“I tried to emphasize to the seniors that this was their last home game. I told them they had two quarters left to leave an impression,” he said. “I think they took that to heart a little bit. I think they responded well. We got some momentum plays and it’s like anything else, once kids get some confidence then, boom! We got another score.”
Grimm said that in light of the team’s late-game performance, he wished that there was more time left to play.
“I wish we had two or three more minutes on the clock to see if we could have squeaked in another score,” he said.
Looking ahead to the next game against O’Dea High, Grimm is optimistic about the team’s chances and realistic about the challenges his team will face.
“O’Dea has kids who can score from anywhere on the field,” he said. “We’ll go in there with a game plan and try to execute it, but knowing realistically you have to have the A-plus game going on. We have to limit their big plays, and if we don’t, it will be a long night.”
The boys were scheduled to play their next game at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 against O’Dea at West Seattle Stadium. Results were unavailable at the time the Review went to press.