The Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics tells us there is at least one version of reality wherein the Bainbridge High School varsity football team did not defeat the visitors from Lakeside last Friday.
But it ain’t this one.
In the world as we can verify it, the Spartans squeaked to a 10-7 victory against the Lions (1-4) on Oct. 4, upping their overall season record to 3-2 and winning the all-important homecoming game bragging rights.
The island squad has not lost a game at home yet this year since beginning the season with a historical win against North Kitsap on Sept. 6. The Lakeside win was their second conference game and upped their league record to 1-1.
Just three games remain on the regular season schedule (only one to be played at home), with state tournament play set to begin on Nov. 15.
Last Friday’s homecoming crowd was near-capacity inside BHS’ Memorial Stadium (the concession stand actually ran out of hamburgers just after halftime), and Spartan Head Coach Jeff Rouser was quick to thank the fans for their support of the squad.
“You don’t want to lose, you don’t want to spoil everybody’s homecoming,” he said. “What’s really cool is three games, three packed stadiums.
“When is the last time Bainbridge has had three full crowds like we’ve had so far this year?”
Still, despite the carnivalesque mood of the crowd and best efforts of the band and cheer squad (not to mention the jolting, though not entirely unexpected, spectacle of a small pack of young quasi-streakers dashing across the field at the start of halftime) there were some painful lulls in play last Friday.
“It was a slog the whole game,” Rouser agreed.
Bainbridge suffered several injuries, including one that benched starting QB Alex Ledbetter early on (fellow star senior Elliot Weaver still remains benched as well after a serious leg injury earlier this season) and both teams trudged through an arduous, nearly scoreless first half before BHS’ Charlie Hughes finally managed to score on a two-yard run just prior to the break.
Quinn Millerd came through with the kick, thus putting the Spartans up 7-0 at the start of the third.
The Lions evened things up almost immediately, and another painfully long score-free session began again, before Millerd put the Spartans over the top with a 30-yard field goal late in the fourth.
Junior Gabriel Todd led the team’s passing efforts, completing five-for-14 for 54 yards.
Rushing-wise it was junior Cal Breen who led the day, managed 57 yards for seven attempts.
“Cal Breen had a hell of a game,” Rouser said. “That guy’s a player; he’s a real player.”
Breen also notched five receiving yards and one tackle, and two assists on defense.
Senior Franco Abullarade finished the night with 39 yards of rushing in seven attempts, and also two tackles and two assists.
Hughes rushed 23 yards in seven attempts, including the team’s sole touchdown. He managed 27 receiving yards (two receptions) and chalked up four tackles and two assists.
Ledbetter managed eight yards on the run in two attempts before being sidelined; Matthew McCann contributed three and defensive star Sio Peato, two.
On the other side, Peato finished the night with five tackles, two assists, one sack and one tackle for loss.
McCann contributed five tackles, two assists and one tackle for loss.
Senior John Devlin chipped in 17 receiving yards and a team-best six tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss.
Rouser heaped much praise on the island squad’s D-line in the wake of Friday’s win.
“Our defense ran the show,” he said. “Last year it was offense, no defense. This year, it’s kind of the opposite.”
Peato agreed, saying the defensive lineup especially performed as well as he’d hoped.
“We did exceptional on defense,” Peato said. “I think we did a lot better than exceptional, to be honest. Our offense needs a little more work.
“We rallied around our quarterback after our starting quarterback got hurt,” he added, “and I think everybody really stepped up today.”
The senior Spartan said the team had been “very confident” going into the game.
“We worked really hard this week and obviously I expected this — not the win; I just expected us to go out there and play hard,” Peato said. “It feels great, honestly. Lakeside is a good team and we haven’t beaten them in like four years, I think. Every year, it’s a pretty close game.”
The Spartans next travel to play Ingraham Friday, Oct. 11. They will return home to host Chief Sealth for their last home game at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18.
The final game on the regular season schedule is against Ballard on Oct. 25.
The team’s performance against Lakeside, Rouser said, upped their place in the standings and also their confidence, which had taken a hit during the previous week’s debut league game.
“Last week we didn’t play a good game in our first league game, we played pretty pathetic,” he said. “And today we brought it. So, we got a couple more league games, we’ll see what happens.
“We’re in it.”