Football preview: Bengals return six including quarterback

Outlook: Blaine returns six starters, including quarterback Alex Copa and receiver/defensive back Riley Henderstrom, but graduated 10 from the offense. The Bengals defense should be led by its linebacker corps of captain Caleb Butler with Mandry Stewart and Stephen Newberger. Defensive backs Henderstrom and Logan Nelson should stabilize the secondary and hopefully generate more turnovers.

This season marks the 25th anniversary of Blaine’s only state football championship season in 1988. The Bengals knocked off Cretin-Derham Hall 25-24. They have six runner-up finishes since 1996.

Blaine quarterback Alex Copa
Blaine quarterback Alex Copa


Captains (name, grade, position)
Alex Copa, 12, QB
Caleb Butler, 12, LB/OT

Returning starters
Alex Copa, QB
Caleb Butler, LB/OT
Mandry Stewart, 12, LB
Stephen Newberger, 11, LB
Riley Henderstrom, 12, DB/WR
Logan Nelson, 11, DB

Three strengths: Six returning starters including the quarterback Alex Copa.
Things to work on: A need to replace 10 graduating seniors on offense; reduce the turnovers and improve line play on both sides of the ball.
Milestone: 25th anniversary of Blaine’s state championship team in 1988.

Schedule (date, opponent) 7 p.m. unless noted

Aug. 29 vs. Edina
Sept. 6 at Armstrong 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 13 vs. Osseo 5 p.m.
Sept. 20 vs. Maple Grove (Homecoming)
Sept. 27 at Coon Rapids
Oct. 4 vs. Champlin Park
Oct. 11 at Centennial
Oct. 16 at Anoka (Pumpkin Bowl)

2012: 6-4 (3-2 third place in NWSC West Division), lost to Edina 30-27 in the Section 6AAAAAA semifinal.

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