Squalicum senior fullback Brandon LeDoux, a converted offensive lineman in his first season in the backfield, says he appreciates good blocking more than ever now.
LeDoux rushed 7 times for 44 yards and blocked with consistent effectiveness to help junior teammate Luke Weber account for four touchdowns and 131 yards rushing on 28 carries in the Storm's wild 29-28 victory over Sedro-Woolley.
"I'm really enjoying getting the chance to play fullback, but I sure do appreciate our linemen. I'm getting some great holes," said LeDoux, taking the time to acknowledge how Neall Koetje, Joel Jensen, Lane Covington, Spencer Koch and Jacob Hamm led the Storm to 204 yards on 46 rushes.
NEW STARS STEPPING UP
Sehome may have come up just short of grabbing a defining victory on Friday at Ferndale, but the Mariners may have discovered a couple of stars.
Most obvious was Daniel Ziegler, who not only returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, but also scored 60- and 50-yard touchdowns on option keepers in the fourth quarter to make the game interesting.
"He's a guy who works really hard, and that paid off for him tonight," Sehome coach Bob Norvell said. "And he's only a junior."
While that's impressive enough, it kind of overshadowed two-way starting freshman Taylor Rapp, who is almost the spitting image of older brother and Mariners starting quarterback Austin Rapp. The younger Rapp rushed eight times for 18 yards on Friday, played solid in the secondary for Sehome and laid a couple of crushing blocks to help free his brother and Titi Lamositele on long runs.
"The kids selected him a captain this week, which is unheard of for a freshman," Norvell said. "But you saw what he can do, and how he responds."
Responding well for Ferndale was senior defensive lineman Hank Hilts, who made three tackles for loss, including back-to-back sacks near the end of the first half to thwart a Sehome drive.
"He's a guy that we just got eligible (enough practices), and he came out and made an impact for us on defense," Ferndale coach Jamie Plenkovich said.
LYNDEN'S BACKUPS SHOW PROMISE
Usually a 42-point shutout win doesn't allow much room for team growth, but Lynden learned quite a bit about its future during a blowout win on Friday at Anacortes.
After the Lions went up 21-0 early in the first half, Lynden coach Curt Kramme worked in players lower on the depth chart.
Sophomore quarterback Cameron Wainwright entered the game in the second quarter and promptly took Lynden on a 10-play, 56-yard scoring drive.
Wainwright was 5 of 6 for 52 yards on the drive, which was capped by Christianson's 1-yard TD run.
Wainwright also led Lynden on a pair of lengthy second-half drives.
"(Wainwright) is in line to play after Josh (Kraght) graduates," Kramme said. "Hopefully nothing happens to Josh this year, but it's good to know Cameron can step right in."
Running back Trent Postma also showed he'll be a strong option to succeed senior back Luke Christianson after this season. Postma, a sophomore, carried 10 times for 106 yards and showed good explosion though holes and the ability to run though tackles.
MERIDIAN IS OFF TO A SLOW START
The Meridian football team started the season ranked in the top 10 in most of the Class 1A Washington state preseason football polls, but following a pair of lopsided losses, the Trojans have some work to do to if they plan to get to the level most projected they would be.
Meridian's greatest problems have been on the defensive side of the ball, where the Trojans have allowed more than 40 points in each of their first two games. But the Trojans' defensive woes in their 41-28 loss Friday at Lakewood would have been helped by the presence of Bob Ames, who missed his first game in 39 years at the school with an illness.
Consecutive games against Class 2A Burlington-Edison and Lakewood certainly aren't one of the easiest ways this young Meridian team could have opened the season, but it's clear the Trojans have a way to go before they think about getting back to the 1A state playoffs.
LUMMI HAS HARD TIME ADJUSTING TO 11-MAN FOOTBALL
Lummi lost to La Conner 26-14 in a non-conference football game on Friday. It was the first time since 2010 Lummi played an 11-man game.
The last time was a mid-week rescheduled game against Sehome, leaving the Blackhawks with short preparation time.
The Blackhawks only had one week to learn a new system for Friday night's game.
"We only had a couple days to prepare for this game," Lummi coach Jim Sandusky said. "It's a really big adjustment on offense. Defense is a little bit easier to adapt but, on offense, it's a lot different."
The main culprits in the loss were turnovers and penalties. Lummi accumulated 110 yards in penalties and had five turnovers. The offense struggled to get much going and only had 195 total yards, compared to La Conner's 300. Lummi only had seven first downs compared to La Conner's 11.
BLAINE'S DEFENSE HOLDS TERRY FOX IN CHECK
The Blaine Borderites' defense showed a "bend but don't break" attitude Friday against Terry Fox (B.C.) High School, allowing 209 rushing yards and another 174 yards through the air while only conceding 21 points.
"They did have some drives, but our kids were playing hard and going after the ball to create some turnovers" Blaine coach Jay Dodd said, "(But) we'd rather not bend at all."
As Dodd alluded to, turnovers were much of the reason Terry Fox failed to convert yards into touchdowns, as Terry Fox turned the ball over three times in Blaine territory, including an acrobatic, juggling interception by junior defensive back Isaiah Jackson.
Terry Fox tallied 106 yards in penalties, which stalled many of its offensive drives and created long-yardage downs.
BAKER LOOKING FORWARD TO MATCHUP WITH LYNDEN
Mount Baker is coming off its second straight win, shutting out Sultan 33-0 Friday evening.
The Mountaineers know they will have to get more of the same defensive intensity when they take on high-powered Lynden next week.
"We're going to have to work hard all week, go in, and play football," running back Jake Schleimer said.
A good game against Lynden could set the Mountaineers up nicely, as they prepare to head into NWC 1A play.
"Hopefully we will make it deep in the post-season," lineman Tyrel Cronk said. "It's pretty far from now, but we will keep working hard to get there. Lynden is tough, but hopefully we can take some momentum and work hard all week, go into Lynden and have ourselves a good game."
UPPERCLASSMEN GIVE RED RAIDERS A BOOST
The Bellingham Red Raiders lost 56-23 to Burlington-Edison on Friday night, but they took a big step forward on offense.
Junior Melvin Deal rushed for 103 yards and partnered with senior Justin Pruett, who led the team with 163 passing yards and three touchdowns.
After losing seniors Marques Reynolds and Kyle Redmond to injury last week, Bellingham needed the boost from Deal and Pruett. With Reynolds and Redmond expected back from injury soon, the Red Raiders could have plenty of offensive weapons.
Another player who made an impact was senior Nicholas Estrada, who caught seven passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.
LOOKING BACK SURPRISE OF THE WEEK
SEHOME ALMOST UPSETS FERNDALE
The Mariners, who are looking for a big win to hang their hats on, nearly got one in an NWC 2A/3A showdown at Ferndale. The Mariners jumped out to a 13-0 first-quarter lead, only to see the Golden Eagles score 35 unanswered points. But rather than fold up camp, Sehome rallied with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to make things interesting and make Ferndale work to secure the victory with a couple of clutch first downs.
LOOKING AHEAD GAME OF THE WEEK
MOUNT BAKER AT LYNDEN
Though it's a non-conference meeting, after the Mountaineers dropped down to the 1A ranks, Mount Baker has started the season strong with a pair of blowout victories over Bellingham and Sultan. The defending 2A state champions, meanwhile, bounced back nicely falling to King's in Week 1 with a shutout victory over Anacortes.
Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14
Site: Lynden High School