DEMING - Pinned against its own end zone early in the contest, the Mount Baker defense displayed its feverish and disciplined play, forcing Cedarcrest to turn the ball over on downs after failing to gain a single yard in the red zone.
After holding its ground, Mount Baker's offense took the field and promptly marched 90 yards downfield in four plays, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Jake Schleimer. It was all Mountaineers after that in a 56-6 non-league victory on Friday, Sept. 21.
"We came out and we really wanted to set a tone early, and I thought we did that," Mount Baker coach Ron Lepper said. "We really suffocated (Cedarcrest) a little bit, and when we do things right, we can compete with anybody."
Mount Baker's defensive unit penetrated and all but eliminated Cedarcrest's rushing attack, holding the Red Wolves to 91 yards on 28 carries - good for 3.25 yards per rush. The defensive line for Mount Baker (3-1) was able to stop Cedarcrest rushers for a 1-yard gain or less on 15 of their 28 rushes, including 10 of those carries resulting in negative yards.
But not to be outdone, the defensive backfield held Cedarcrest to 95 yards passing on 25 attempts, while corralling two interceptions, including a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown by senior defensive back Zan Roman.
When Mount Baker's defense wasn't harassing Cedarcrest's offense, Mount Baker's offense was running all over the field, piling up 399 rushing yards on 29 carries.
Junior running back Joey Walton, who scored Mount Baker's first touchdown on a 48-yard run and finished the game with 88 yards on four carries, said the team as a whole really performed well.
"It was just all team work - lineman blocking helped out a lot," Walton said. "Our team is really coming together and we're all really close."
This victory was all the sweeter, considering how Mount Baker was beat 55-14 last week against perennial power Lynden.
"We kind of got it handed to us last week," Lepper said. "But all week long we wanted to just forget about that and come out and play hard. The kids responded very well, but now we know the toughest part of our schedule is coming up and we have to be ready."
Cedarcrest 0 0 0 6- 6
Mount Baker 14 21 7 14- 56
MB - Joey Walton 48 run (Edgar Zavala kick)
MB - Jake Schleimer 1 run (Zavala kick)
MB - Jake Schleimer 3 run (Zavala kick)
MB - Zan Roman 70 interception return (Zavala kick)
MB - Walton 25 run (Zavala kick)
MB - Schleimer 20 run (Zavala kick)
MB - Izaiha Jackson 27 run (Zavala kick)
Ced - Liam Thomas 17 run (run failed)
MB - Liam Short 54 run (Zavala kick)
First downs 12 18
Rushing Att-Yards 28-91 29-399
Comp-Att-Int 10-25-2 2-6-1
Passing yards 95 28
Penalties-yards 3-16 7-70
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
RUSHING - Cedarcrest: Colson Scott 14-58, Liam Thomas 6-4, Nick Bowersock 3-(-3), Mike Wiggin 3-40, Sean Owen 1-0, Adam Davenport 1-(-8). Mount Baker: Jake Schleimer 11-84, Joey Walton 4-88, Izaiha Schwinden 5-112, Andrew Zender 2-19, Kaleb Brownfield 2-20, Seth Bass 2-5, Liam Short 1-54, Tyson Ortloff 1-14, Balyn Jacoby 1-3.
PASSING - Cedarcrest: Adam Davenport 10-25-2-95. Mount Baker: Andrew Zender 2-6-1-28.
RECEIVING - Cedarcrest: Christian MacMillan 4-33, Isaiah Ryder 3-28, Nick Bowersock 1-8, J.B. Rogers 1-13, Zach Miller 1-13. Mount Baker: Zan Roman 2-28.