April 27, 2014

Bulldogs Escape Stampeding Colts

The Bellingham Bulldogs hosted a familiar opponent Saturday, April 25th at Lummi Nation School field. The South King County Colts rode into town fresh off a win over the Seattle Stallions the previous week. With a win in Yakima over the Mavericks last weekend, Bellingham looked to continue their streak and put their first-game loss far behind them. The cloudy skies and cool breeze threatened to soak the gridiron but the heavens held off their fury long enough for the battle to take place.

Bellingham started aggressively on offense, moving the ball down field quickly. The Dogs scored two touchdowns through the air, from the arm of quarterback Eric Taylor in the first quarter. Finding his trio of wide receivers often, Taylor connected with Douglas Miller and Cody Oakes. Toby Seim would also snag a touchdown pass in the second quarter from Taylor.

Seeking to regain their intensity the Bulldogs defense struggled to stop the potent Colts offense. Miscues and mistakes allowed the Colts several opportunities to complete drives, scoring once in the first quarter with a 55-yard pitch from quarterback Adam Kruse to wide receiver Brandon Stout. The Colts charged forward in the second, scoring twice more on the ground, they narrowed the Dogs lead to one point before the half.

Memories of last year's comeback by the Colts began to float to surface. In that game the Bulldogs' Cody Oakes on the opposite sideline, commanding the Colts in a thrilling fourth quarter rally. Down 37-16 the Colts clawed their way back into the game. Oakes lead his Colts to two more touchdowns and brought the game to a 37-30 score with 3 minutes left to play. The Bulldogs defense would bend but would not break. The Colts drove deep into the redzone but with one minute, thirty seconds remaining Bellingham stopped the Colts drive short.

South King County needed a team effort to ensure victory this night and Adam Kruse would need to step up to the helm. Starting the second half flat, the Bulldogs frustration began to affect their play on the field. The Dogs offense rallied, Taylor directed a clock-eating drive late in the third that resulted in a 4-yard touchdown scramble, making up for an earlier interception. Bellingham's defense showed their toughness by keeping the Colts from scoring the entire third quarter.

The Colts would not break. Gritting their teeth, South King County pushed their way into the end zone at the start of the fourth, cutting the lead down to two points. However, on the next opportunity the Dogs' defense came up huge and snatched the ball away from the Colts with a interception in the redzone. Bellingham's offense made good on their fortune and completed an 80-yard strike from Taylor to Seim on the next play from scrimmage. The Dog's would add to their lead after another defensive stop on a ground-shaking 27-yard touchdown run by Josh Heard. The Colts would score on one last 21-yard dash by quarterback Adam Kruse. However, the clock was not on South King County's side. Final score: 42-34. Click here to view photos from the game.

April 26, 2014

Slam Take Flight in Season Opener

The Bellingham Slam open the 2014 International Basketball League season with a home win over the Seattle Flight. Fresh faces on Bellingham's roster meant team chemistry was a key concern for first-year, and former Slam player, Tyler Amaya. He would get a chance to test the rookies as his veteran lineup created a big lead early and did not let the Flight within 10-points the entire game. Guard Jacob Stevenson lead all scorers with 23 points while six of his teammates contributed double digit points in the effort. The Slam bench saw plenty of floor time along with their newest addition, former Nippon Tornadoes guard Kosei Ban. Ban quickly became a fan favorite in his debut, scoring eight points in his seven minutes on the court. Final score: 142-93. Click here to view photos from the game.

April 13, 2014

Bulldogs Fall to Kings

The Bellingham Bulldogs began the 2014 Pacific Football League season with a non-league match against the Puyallup Nation Kings of the Western Washington Football Alliance Saturday, April 12th at Lummi Nation School. Bellingham started flat and sluggish. The offense had a difficult time maintaining a consistent drive. The Kings in contrast came prepared to win. Dictating tempo and moving the chains at will. The Bulldogs quickly fell behind by two touchdowns with Puyallup creating opportunities through a read-option style offensive attack.

Bulldogs quarterback Eric Taylor orchestrated a long drive late in the first quarter to put Bellingham on the score board. The Kings would answer the Bulldogs touchdown with one of their own at the beginning of the second period. The Bulldogs offense was just getting warmed up. Two more drives by Bellingham resulted in a touchdown and field goal but a kick return for a touchdown by Puyallup sent the Bulldogs into the half with a large deficit to overcome.

The Kings opened up the half by playing clock-ball. Relying heavily on their running game, Puyallup chewed up time in the third quarter. Bellingham's defense forced a fumble giving the offense a quick scoring opportunity. But another clock-eating drive by Puyallup at the end of the third kept their lead at arms length.

Eric Taylor tried to keep hope alive for the Bulldogs with a scoring drive at the start of the fourth but back-to-back touchdowns by the Kings killed any chance for Bellingham to pullout a comeback. Final score: 36-47. Click here to view photos from the game.