LAUREL - Homecoming night can be a big party celebrating a great victory, or it can be a bittersweet school function after a tough loss.
Meridian got to celebrate a close win over fellow NWC 1A team Friday Harbor for the Trojan Homecoming night 27-26 on Friday, Sept. 28, to improve to 3-2, 1-0 NWC 1A.
For Friday Harbor, this was the first loss of the year, dropping the Wolverines to 4-1.
Quarterback Max McGuinn led the Trojans to victory with 126 passing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
"(McGuinn) is getting better every week," Meridian coach Bob Ames said.
The final Meridian scoring drive was littered with big penalties against Friday Harbor. Two 15-yard penalties and a great 17-yard pass from McGuinn to Relijah McMillen doomed the Wolverines, giving Meridian the momentum. After a few rushes, Evan Childs punched the ball in from 2 yards out for the deciding touchdown.
"When we got the momentum back, we were able to run the ball better," Childs said.
Friday Harbor was led by junior Nathan Steenkolk, who rushed for 170 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns.
Steenkolk also contributed some big plays on defense at linebacker, keeping up the pressure all night. Steenkolk was able to break through the offensive line with fantastic speed to rush McGuinn, picking up a sack for his efforts.
The Wolverine defense held Meridian running back Junior Castro to just 28 yards on 10 carries after he ran for 191 yards over the past two games. Castro gave a big contribution on defense, scoring on a 38-yard interception return. He will look to pick up where he left off next week as Meridian visits another NWC 1A school, Nooksack Valley, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8.
Friday Harbor 7 7 6 6- 26
Meridian 14 7 0 6- 27
FH - Micah Powell 1 run (Powell kick)
Mer - Max McGuinn 29 run (Casey Bromet kick)
Mer - Junior Castro 38 interception return (Bomet kick)
FH -Nathan Steenkolk 2 run (Powell kick)
Mer - McGuinn 9 run (Bromet kick)
FH -Steenkolk 1 run (Kick failed)
FH -Steenkolk 2 run (2-point conversion failed)
Mer - Evan Childs 2 run (2-point conversion failed)
First downs 24 33
Rushing Att-Yards 36-258 37-133
Comp-Att-Int 2-7-1 10-19-1
Passing yards 10 126
Penalties-yards 9-80 3-30
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
RUSHING - Friday Harbor: Nathan Steenkolk 16-170, Donald Galt 8-62, Micah Powell 6-21, CJ Woods 4-9, Ryan Allen 2-(-4). Meridian: Max McGuinn 13-56, Drake VanderYacht 10-28, Evan Childs 6-25, Letrez Jones 8-24.
PASSING -Friday Harbor: CJ Woods 2-6-1-10, Donald Galt 0-1-0-0. Meridian: Max McGuinn 10-19-1-126.
RECEIVING - Friday Harbor: Jacob Justiniano 1-6, Donald Galt 1-4. Meridian: Relijah McMillen 3-46, Sam Chambers 3-35, Trevin Todd 2-17, Junior Castro 1-16, Evan Childs 1-12.