Taking their most successful season in recent memory yet another strutting step forward, the Bainbridge High varsity football team notched their fourth win of the year Friday, Oct. 13 and claimed a jaw-dropping 48-6 homecoming night win against Franklin High.
The win nudged the island squad’s overall record to 4-3 (3-1 in conference), and kept them tied for the third-place spot in the Metro standings (along with Ballard and Chief Sealth).
Performance-wise, Spartan Head Coach Jeff Rouser said, Friday’s showing was very nearly perfect.
“We were a machine tonight,” he said. “It didn’t matter who we were playing against, the way our offense executed today.
“We did a lot of different plays and they were executing them all pretty flawlessly.”
To win the homecoming game — also the Senior Night game — Rouser said, was a very special thing for everyone on the field.
“These kids, the senior class; they’re leaders,” Rouser said. “They’re the greatest group of senior leaders that I’ve ever worked with. They lead by example.
“They work hard and they love it. They love the game.”
The Spartan seniors are Jacob Hogger, Reece Quesada, Nathan Eaton, Salon Rich, Ethan Peloquin, Kyle Bierly, Alex Dodson, Nate Michaels, Mitch Melby, Jakob Mathisen, Will Hobbs, Liam Brumley and Arman Jaberi and Christian Nonga Kingombe.
Rouser (who insisted in the wake of the team’s 35-28 Sept. 29 loss to Lakeside: “We’re not going to lose another game,” and has so-far been proven correct) claimed he has just one regret when he looks back on this quickly-concluding season.
“I wish we could play Lakeside again,” he laughed.
The Spartans came back from that dispiriting defeat to snag an epic 42-8 win against Sammamish on Oct. 6, and then kept their triumphant train a-rolling straight through to the Franklin homecoming night victory.
This year’s final regular season game will be played on the road Friday, Oct. 20 against Chief Sealth (5-2).
Lakeside boasts the top spot in the league (6-1 overall, 4-0 in conference), and, barring an unlikely loss, will occupy the Metro Valley Division’s sole slot in the 3A playoffs.
A recent addition to the Metro landscape, the Valley Division was created earlier this year. Consisting of Bainbridge, Chief Sealth, Franklin, Ingraham, Lakeside and Sammamish high schools, the new division promised to effectively level the football playing field for the Spartans — which it seems to have definitely done — who have historically struggled to compete against the selective programs at Seattle private schools.
The BHS squad will most likely see a postseason showing or two, Rouser said after Friday’s win, but he wasn’t counting on a shot at the big show this year.
“Lakeside would have to lose, and I don’t expect that to happen,” the coach said. “It is what it is. We don’t know who we’ll play after [Chief Sealth]. We’ll have two more games, though. We’ll see what happens. We’ll take one of these teams who loses in the playoffs and show them who should have been in the playoffs.”
Even the CS showdown, Rouser said, was far from an easy win.
“We play a pretty good team [Friday],” he said. “So, we got to bring our A game there, for sure.”
Regarding the exponential improvement the team had already seen since last year, his first with the program, Rouser said a rejuvenated tone was being set within the program, one he hoped would bring new, younger players to football.
“[The players] are helping set the tone,” he said. “That’s the kind of leadership we need. They bought into the program and now we’re seeing the results.”
Results that were on full display in Friday’s Franklin defeat.
The Spartans were alone on the board until the final quarter (21-0, 20-0, 7-0, 0-6) when the guests barely managed to avoid a shutout.
Hogger scored first, on a 16-yard run, and kicker Tanner Shattuck came through with the extra point.
Junior QB Gannon Winker scored the night’s second touchdown off a 1-yard run, and Shattuck again made good with the kick.
Bierly scored the initial quarter’s third TD after a speedy 7-yard run. Shattuck caped a 3-for-3 showing.
In the second, touchdowns were scored by junior Max McLeod (an 8-yard run), Hogger again (on a 5-yard pass from Winker) and then in a second showing by McLeod (a 26-yard run).
Shattuck went 2-for-3.
Bierly made a second appearance in the end zone in the third, on a TD scored on a 25-yard run. Shattuck came through again, as well.
Winker managed 6-for-11 pass attempts for 70 yards.
He rushed 90 yards in eight attempts, as well.
McLeod rushed 86 yards in six attempts, and Bierly finished the night with 63 yards to his name after six attempts.
On the receiving side, Hogger made three for 32 yards. Peloquin, two for 25, and McLeod managed one reception for 13 yards.
Defensively, though, it was Bierly who led the day. He managed four tackles, including one for loss and one sack.
Junior Alan Griffiths finished with three tackles, plus two assists and Jaberi chalked up three tackles throughout the night, too.