Bourne Football Holds Off Bellingham In Gridiron Win

Tyler BennottiDAN CROWLEY/ENTERPRISE - Tyler Bennotti

Bellingham (0-8) struck first Friday night, but Bourne (2-6) answered in a back-and-forth battle in which the Canalmen came out on top by a score of 36-34.

After a 60-yard run by Bellingham’s Wes Kudirka and a two-point conversion put the visitors up 8-0, Bourne came back with a 12-yard pass play from Luke Zanoli to Jacob Ashworth for a touchdown. Tyler Rondeau ran in the two-point conversion and at the end of the first quarter it was an 8-8 game.

“Jake is still young but he is getting better,” head coach John McIntyre said of Ashworth. “Every week we’re moving him around covering for injuries. He is doing a nice job for us.”
The Blackhawks wasted no time in answering with a 15-yard scoring run by Kudirka and an extra point kick by Austin Nunn. Nunn plunged across the goal line from a yard out for another Bellingham TD. He then kicked the PAT for a 22-8 lead.

Before the half ended Bourne scored again on a Rondeau 25-yard pass to Ashworth for six points. Another two-point conversion, this time by Tyler Benotti, left the Blackhawks with a 22-16 lead at the half.

The Canalmen put up 14 points in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Rondeau, with Benotti again tacking on another two points with the conversion.

“Rondeau had a nice night,” coach McIntyre said of his sophomore quarterback. “Tyler does a really good job with the offense. He fakes the ball well. He’s smart and very coachable. Tyler Benotti has been playing well. When he gets the ball he runs hard. He is a physical, tough kid.”

The Canalmen put the ball back in the end zone on a five-yard run by Benotti, but this time the attempt at a two-point conversion failed.

Leading 30-22, the Canalmen struck again in the fourth on a 55-yard run by Rondeau, but once again the Blackhawks stopped the two-point conversion, leaving Bourne up 36-22.

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But Bellingham still had some fight left as they scored two more times. On both occasions the two-point conversion attempts failed, preserving the BHS victory.

“Zanoli deflected their first two-point try,” the coach said, “and we got them on the second one too. That was the difference maker.”

Coach McIntyre applauded the play of his offensive line for their job against Bellingham.

“I thought our offensive line did a great job,” the coach noted. “They’re getting better and staying low. I think Dom Boulrisse at center, Bryan Raftery and Drew Buckingham at guard, Pat Sullivan and Travis Hyldeburg at tackle and a rotation of Geoff Hite, Matt Klier, Mike Stephens and Jake Ashworth at tight end deserve a lot of credit.”

The Canalmen will travel to Swansea tomorrow for a 7 PM kickoff against Case (0-8). The Cardinals, also members of the South Coast Conference Small, dropped a 30-14 decision to the Canalmen on September 27. Case finished last in the conference at 0-3. Last week the Cardinals suffered a 42-16 loss at the hands of Ashland (4-4).

“They know what we do and we know what to expect from them,” Coach McIntyre said. “We’re very evenly matched. They’ll give us problems. I’m very proud of our kids. We’ve been through a lot of adversity and they’re still playing hard and battling back.”

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