Spartans get it half right in 35-14 loss

"You can’t graduate from school by passing just half your classes. You can’t buy your favorite clothes and compact disks by offering just 50 percent of the asking price.And, as the members of the Bainbridge High School football team learned last Friday, you can’t win a game by playing just the first two quarters."

  • Wednesday, October 20, 1999 1:00pm
  • Sports

“You can’t graduate from school by passing just half your classes. You can’t buy your favorite clothes and compact disks by offering just 50 percent of the asking price.And, as the members of the Bainbridge High School football team learned last Friday, you can’t win a game by playing just the first two quarters.The Spartans, who entered the intermission tied with North Mason by a 14-14 score, disappeared in the second half en route to a disappointing 35-14 Pierce County League loss.“They’re not a better team than you guys,” Bainbridge coach Andy Grimm told his players after the game. “They left the door open for us a number of times and we didn’t go through.“You should be frustrated with this one.”Especially after the game started in seemingly promising fashion. The Spartans moved the ball well in the first quarter, losing the ball and a chance at the lead only when the Bulldogs pounced on a fumble and converted it into a 29-yard touchdown run. Undaunted, however, Bainbridge bounced back with a Sherman’s march of nearly 80 yards late in the first and early in the second quarters, capping a 12-play drive with quarterback Tyler Burkland’s one-yard keeper run on fourth down.Bainbridge also atoned for its next mistake – a roughing-the-kicker penalty on a missed North Mason field goal that led to a first down and a one-yard touchdown run. The next Spartan drive covered 63 yards in 11 plays, capped by Burkland’s nifty coffin-corner touchdown throw to Vance Rehder from seven yards out with just 25 seconds remaining before halftime.While Bainbridge’s players came back to the sidelines for the second half in fired-up fashion, it was all fizzle on the field. A fumbled kickoff return gave the Bulldogs the ball deep in Bainbridge territory, and even a fumble of their own couldn’t help the Spartans.Penalties and nearly-picked-off passess forced a punt, and three plays from scrimmage later, the Bulldogs had the lead for good on a three-yard touchdown run. Bainbridge punted on their next two possessions, turned the ball over on down the third time, and fumbled the fourth time. Twice the Bulldogs ran at will on those possessions, and twice more they punched the ball into the end zone.Bainbridge went down fighting till the end, but their last effort fizzled at midfield when a desperation pass by Burkland on third down and 16 to go was intercepted.“They stuffed us a couple of times,” assistant coach Jake Haley said. “We put our heads down and we stopped believing. I saw it in our eyes.”The numbers bear it out. Bainbridge’s running game, normally a beacon of strength even against stronger teams, managed just 97 yards on 36 carries.Two of Bainbridge’s top runners were missing, however. Mike Dressler, who played in just two games, is out indefinitely with a knee injury. And Clayton Wiggins sat out the contest with a chipped bone in his elbow, though it’s hoped he’ll be ready for Friday night’s home contest against White River.In their stead, senior Jake Bouthsa saw his first action of the season, gaining 35 yards on 14 carries. Matt Reynolds, who picked up 100 yards against Franklin Pierce the week before, was effective with seven rushes for 33 yards.Even Burkland, an option-style quarterback, wasn’t able to run – though he performed heroically in the face of unrelenting defensive pressure, completing 10 of 18 passes on a seemingly constant sprint for safety.Bainbridge’s next opponent, White River, is 4-2 after a 49-14 loss to Lakes last week. The Hornets feature one of the league’s top running backs in senior Andy Hahto.North Kitsap JV 54, Bainbridge 6: The Spartans failed to score until the Monday game’s final minutes. No other details were available.######”

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