The Bellingham Bulldogs were host to a familiar opponent Saturday, May 31 at Civic Field. The Yakima Mavericks made the long journey from the middle of Washington to continue their long-standing rivalry. With Toby Seim still out with an injured knee, the Bulldogs offense needed to step up quickly to establish a lead over the cunning Mavericks. Quarterback Eric Taylor was back under center, although Yakima's secondary did show their ability to take away passing lanes, it did not take long for Taylor to find his wide receivers. The Bulldogs jumped ahead with a touchdown pass from Taylor to Jacob Bartel early in the second quarter.
Bellingham's defense stood firm as a determined Yakima offense attempted to establish their running attack. The ball changed possession often. The Mavericks took advantage of a interception deep in their territory and scored a touchdown to tie the score late in the second. But the Bulldogs struck back quickly with a 41-yard touchdown run after the catch from Taylor to Cody Oakes, giving Bellingham a 14-7 halftime lead.
Yakima began moving the ball down field in the second half but the Bulldogs defense would prove to be too much for the Maverick to break through. Bellingham stopped several drives short of the goal line as the Bulldogs offensive line kept up their dominance allowing Taylor to scramble and throw at will. After the Bulldogs scored on another touchdown pass and kicked a 36-yard field goal in the third Yakima finally saw the end zone again. Scoring on a 49-yard touchdown pass in the fourth bring the score to 24-14.
Eric Taylor would respond with a 65-yard scramble for a touchdown. Both sides would trade turnovers on downs before Taylor would again find Oakes in the end zone for a 10-yard score. The Bulldogs defense would add insult to injury, forcing a fumble which was picked up by Caleb Rodriguez who scored their final touchdown. Yakima added a 10-yard touchdown pass but the damage had been done. Final score: 45-21. Click here to view photos from the game.
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