By Bucky Beaver
The 2012 Ballard High School football season came to an end Friday night at Memorial Stadium. The Beavers lost to Mariner High School out of Everett 40-28. Mariner scored their first two possession of the game for a 14-0 lead but the Beavers answered with a 14 play, 72 yard drive finished off with a 2 yard touchdown run by senior Dominique Smith. Mariner fumbled on their next possession, but the Beavers could not convert the turnover into points and had to punt. Mariner scored with 16 seconds left in the second quarter to take a 20 to 7 halftime lead. The second half was basically a draw with both teams scoring three times each. The Beavers scored on a 25 yard pass from senior Johnny Verduin to senior Nate Rauda, a 1 yard run by Verduin and a 19 yard pass from Verduin to junior Max Marshall.
Senior Dominique Smith breaking free, photo courtesy Ed Tanaka/BHS Athletics
Smith rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown and had 96 yards receiving; senior Jordan McColloch rushed for 29 yards and had a trick pass of 21 yards; senior Michael Asefa had 31 yards in receiving; Rauda had 64 yards receiving and a touchdown; and Verduin had 210 yards passing and two passing touchdowns with 27 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Senior Johnny Verduin scrambling for yards, photo courtesy Ed Tanaka/BHS Athletics
Defense was led by seniors Rauda and McColloch with 9 tackles each and Justin Simon with 8 tackles. Rauda added his first interception of the season and Simon had one tackle for a loss and a fumble recovery. Juniors Marshall, Elliott Brockl and Asher Clasen added 7, 5 and 3 tackles respectively. Freshman Fua Taase had another good game contributing 5 tackles.
The Beavers ended up 2-8 on the season while playing in the toughest conference in the state. The record was below the goals and expectations the team set but the team fought hard throughout the year. The season got off to a rough start when first team all-conference running back senior Dominic King blew out his knee on his first rush of his season and was out for the year—this injury seriously crippled the Beavers running attack. So the Beavers took to the air. The Beavers ended up third in KingCo conference in passing, averaging 179 yards per game. Their high was against the number one team in state Skyline passing for 325 yards against their first team defense.
Individual KingCo conference accomplishments for the season included:
- Smith was 1st in interceptions; 1st in punt return average and punt return touchdowns; 3rd in all-purpose running; 5th in receptions; 6th in kickoff return average; 7th in scoring; and 16th in rushing yards
- Rauda was 1st in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns; 3rd in tackles; 4th in kickoff returns average; and 7th in all-purpose running;
- Verduin was 2nd in passing yards; 3rd in passing touchdowns; 5th in total offense
- Brockl was 2nd in yards loss on tackles; and 6th in tackles for a loss
- Simon was 15th in tackles for a loss.
The Beavers will return a number of underclassmen who contributed significantly this season including juniors Marshall, Brockl, Clasen, Darnell Akers, Kyle Ward, Ian Svasand, John DeGarmo, Jack Deal, Dana Williams, Marvin Hudkins, Ben Reyes, sophomores Shea Carroll, Matthew Godinez, Adam Deehring, Brandon Scott, and freshmen Taase and Jerome Nathan.
A number of graduating seniors had a big impact on the program while at Ballard High School:
- Simon played varsity football four years for the Beavers compiling 116 tackles and one touchdown in his last three seasons.
- King, also a four year varsity player, rushed for 1,454 yards on 220 carries in his last three years scoring 14 touchdowns (he missed all of his senior year due to a knee injury). He also contributed 59 tackles over that period.
- Rauda had 1,076 receiving yards on 58 catches with 13 touchdowns during his three year varsity career. He also had 133 tackles (Rauda missed most of his junior year with a knee injury).
- The only other Beaver to start three years on varsity is Verduin. He started at quarterback and punter during his three year varsity career throwing for 3,208 yards on 244 completions for 26 touchdown passes adding four rushing touchdowns. He also converted 22 PATs as a place kicker.
Other graduating seniors include Asefa 3 year varsity (3V), Tanner DenBoer (3V), McColloch (2V), Camren Burke (2V), Jacob Marks (2V), Josh Schwartzenberger (2V), Andrew Ingham (1V), Harry Shaw (1V), Dominique Smith (1V), Josh Roun (1V), Nathan Leapai (1V), and Theron Chaase (1V).