Cards deal Sparts a not-so-grand hand

"Looked at from a certain skewed angle, a lot went right last Friday night in the Bainbridge High School football team’s 49-7 loss to Franklin Pierce.The Spartans (2-3) got their first 100-yard rushing performance from junior wingback Matt Reynolds, whose 100 yards on 12 carries included a 40-yard first-quarter burst. Bainbridge’s runners picked up 209 yards total."

  • Thursday, October 14, 1999 6:00pm
  • Sports

“Looked at from a certain skewed angle, a lot went right last Friday night in the Bainbridge High School football team’s 49-7 loss to Franklin Pierce.The Spartans (2-3) got their first 100-yard rushing performance from junior wingback Matt Reynolds, whose 100 yards on 12 carries included a 40-yard first-quarter burst. Bainbridge’s runners picked up 209 yards total.Senior Tyler Burkland had a reasonably efficient night, completing 12 of 28 passes at quarterback, and padded his Pierce County League lead with his sixth interception of the season from his safety position. And who could forget the fun freak play of the night, in which Burkland picked up Clayton Hallum’s blocked first-quarter punt and ran 19 yards for a first down?Vance Rehder nearly doubled his season’s total in one night with seven catches for 50 yards. Aaron Weinbach, whose six efforts included a 37-yard burst, emerged as a new kickoff return threat.Sol Ottow and Chad Wagoner, as they have all season, showed the strength of the Spartans’ interior defense with a combined 10 primary and assisted tackles, including two for losses and one quarterback sack.Not bad for a team missing five key players: running back Mike Dressler (knee injury), tackle Vince White (back bruise), Richard Sheets (torn knee meniscus), Colin Perceful (chest and shoulder bruises) and Zach Hegtvedt (slight shoulder separation). Junior Chris Mandell, Bainbridge’s top two-way lineman, played the entire game despite chest injuries.And how about Clayton Wiggins’ block of an extra-point kick?Okay, okay, enough denial.Between the bright spots was a lot of darkness – the kind left behind by Franklin Pierce’s blindingly fast running backs and bruisingly bigger offensive line. Mike Muai set the tone for the Cardinals early, breaking FP’s first play from scrimmage for a 40-yard touchdown.It would be that same way all night.“They were just more physical up front,” said Bainbridge coach Andy Grimm. “They just created huge holes, and with their speed, we just had very little chance of stopping them.”When it wasn’t Muai (three touchdowns), it was Eric Kimble. The 6-0, 170-pound junior sliced and diced the Spartans for 245 rushing yards and four monster touchdowns – a 65-yard punt return and rushing scores of 65, 85 and 42 yards.Bainbridge, by comparison, had just two good scoring opportunities. In the second quarter, a masterful 17-play, 85-yard drive was cut brutally short by a Burkland fumble. And in the final frame, the Spartans caught a break when Burkland’s 4th-and-15 pass attempt to Adam Smith drew a penalty flag for Franklin Pierce pass interference.Two plays later, Wiggins punched the ball into paydirt territory with a 12-yard ramble, and Jeff Tracy added the extra point.Bainbridge’s next foe is North Mason, which suffered a 28-6 loss to the Cardinals two weeks ago. Grimm, who showed his team the video from that game, assesses the Bulldogs as “definitely physical, but not on the level Franklin Pierce is.“They like to stack eight guys up front on defense and force you to pass, which means we can do some things out of our Wing-T offense,” Grimm said. “They’re going to outsize us, body for body, but I really think we can compete.”Gig Harbor 26, Bainbridge JV 11: The Spartans (2-2) got their lone scores on a 23-yard field goal by Jeff Tracy and a 12-yard run by John Balangue, whom also tacked on a two-point conversion.The team next hosts North Kitsap Monday at 5 p.m.”

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