Photos courtesy Justin Johnson | Mason County Journal
Left: Spartans running back Jack Mielke looks to evade the Shelton defense as he heads down the field. Right: Bainbridge quarterback Gabriel Todd looks to make the pitch to running back Matt LeDorze in the season-opener against Shelton.

Photos courtesy Justin Johnson | Mason County Journal Left: Spartans running back Jack Mielke looks to evade the Shelton defense as he heads down the field. Right: Bainbridge quarterback Gabriel Todd looks to make the pitch to running back Matt LeDorze in the season-opener against Shelton.

BI shines on offense, defense in opener vs. Shelton

The Bainbridge Island Spartans got off to a slow start in their long-delayed gridiron opener, but a second half scoring explosion propelled them to victory down in Mason County.

Bainbridge’s balanced offense scored three touchdowns in the third quarter and two more in the fourth in a 39-18 league victory over Shelton on a windy Tuesday evening. The Spartan defense shut out the home team for almost three quarters and forced six turnovers.

Quarterback Gabriel Todd led the way, topping 200 passing yards and tossing three touchdown passes, and running back Cal Breen took charge on the ground with over 70 yards.

There were some understandable early struggles for both teams as they haven’t played since fall of 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Both the Spartans and the Highclimbers fumbled, but recovered on their opening possessions, and Bainbridge was stung by a couple of early offside penalties.

But fortunes turned midway through the second quarter when senior defensive back Austin Coupland came up with the first of his two interceptions. That turnover gave the Spartans good field position and soon after, Todd dropped back and hit Jack Mielke on a short pass that turned into a 26-yard catch-and-run for a TD.

Leading just 7-0 to start the second half, the Spartans forced a fumble on the opening play and turned it into another score. Breen led the way down the field with an 11-yard reception and a 26-yard run, in which he was brought down just shy of the goal line. Todd then connected with Coupland on an out-route for a 5-yard score to put Bainbridge up 13-0.

The Spartans stayed hot as Brian Taylor intercepted Shelton’s quarterback on the next possession, and Breen took another pitch for 29 yards, setting up Bainbridge just inside Shelton’s 5-yard line. Todd tossed his third TD as he found his big target Alan Ullin over the middle in the end zone from 4 yards out.

After Shelton fumbled the ensuing kickoff, it was Mielke who came up with another big play, taking a quick pass from Todd and running with it for 28 yards down to the 3-yard line. Mielke finished the drive with a 3-yard run, and the score was 25-0.

Senior running back PJ Miller was the next to find the painted grass for Bainbridge, scoring on a 4-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

Junior defensive back Matt LeDorze capped off the scoring with a 35-yard interception return. It was the sixth and final turnover caused by the Bainbridge defense.

Gavin Gould scored all three Shelton TDs on runs of 3, 2, and 11 yards.

The Spartans won’t have much time to celebrate; they will hit the road Friday for another long trip, this one to Sequim. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.

More in Sports

Spartans Harris Intihar (40), Cooper Benjamin (30) and Noah Davis (44) react after one of their teammates made a spectacular play.
Bainbridge defense shuts down CK

Bainbridge’s defense held visiting Central Kitsap scoreless for about eight minutes last… Continue reading

Everett Moore (21) and Henry Cartsen (20) apply pressure on the ball for the Spartans against Central Kitsap. Steve Powell/Bainbridge Review photographs
Bainbridge defense shuts down CK

Bainbridge’s defense held visiting Central Kitsap scoreless for about eight minutes last… Continue reading

BI, NK face off Friday night

North Kitsap and Bainbridge Island’s boys basketball team face off in an… Continue reading

Wildsmith
Spartans make VB all league

Allie Wildsmith has been named the Most Valuable Player of the Olympic… Continue reading

Cliff Hennessey was one of Bainbridge’s top players last spring. File Photo
Winter prep sports previews

Bainbridge wrestling

7 Spartans make All-Olympic League

Seven Bainbridge High School Spartans made the All-Olympic League football team. Bainbridge… Continue reading

Margaret Hayes was on two state championship relay teams. Nancy Treder/Bainbridge Island Review photos
BHS girls win state swim championship

The Bainbridge High School girls swim team likes to emphasize “team,” and… Continue reading

The Bainbridge water polo team gathers around the state championship trophy. Courtesy Photo
Bainbridge submerges state competition

For the first time in 25 years, Bainbridge High School’s boys water… Continue reading

The Spartan volleyball team finished 1-2 at state. File Photo
BHS girls volleyball team knocked out at state

They took the long way to get to Yakima

Most Read