For the second straight week, the Ferndale defense managed to hold down an undefeated opponent that came into a game against the Golden Eagles averaging more than 40 points per game to two touchdowns.
On Sept. 21, it was Burlington-Edison, and a week later on Friday, Sept. 28, Squalicum felt the squeeze from the Golden Eagles in a 41-14 loss.
"I thought our guys up front on the defensive line all made an impact again tonight," Ferndale coach Jamie Plenkovich said. "They made a number of big plays for us when we needed a key stop."
Nobody seemed to make more big plays on Friday than Cameron Massey, who had two tackles for loss and a sack.
"We played good aggressive D," Massey said. "We focus on playing fast and hitting hard and being aggressive. We always take pride in playing defense here. The offense always needs to feed off the defense."
Ferndale held Squalicum to 232 yards of total offense - just less than their average of 237.3 yards allowed ruing the first four games - including 100 yards in the second half.
DEFENSIVE PLAY KEYED MOUNT BAKER'S WIN
Mount Baker's defense hardly looked like a team prepared for its first Class 1A league clash during the first 12 minutes of Friday night's matchup against Nooksack Valley.
The Pioneers navigated touchdown drives of 88 and 63 yards on back-to-back possessions to start the game. Nooksack Valley quarterback Tanner Myhre carved up Mount Baker's defense for 122 yards and completed 8 of 9 passes during those drives.
"We played maybe on our heels a bit in the first quarter," Mount Baker coach Ron Lepper said. "We missed tackles, and they made some good plays."
The Mountaineers imposed their physical play at the start of the second quarter, and Nooksack Valley couldn't move the football.
Secondary players Zan Roman, Kaleb Brownfield, Dylan Howard and Seth Bass clamped down on the Pioneers' wide receivers, and Baker got just enough of a pass rush to force Myhre into some hurried throws.
Mount Baker defensive lineman Dalton Munsell jumped on what turned out to be a game-changing fumble when Nooksack Valley was at Mount Baker's 18-yard line and trying to tie the score at 21-21.
From then on, the Mountaineers' defense dominated. They forced turnovers or punts the rest of the way.
"I thought their safeties played great," Nooksack Valley coach Robb Myhre said. "That Zan Roman is a good player."
BROCKIE'S INJURY ALLOWED SAMPSON'S BIG NIGHT
Standout sophomore wide receiver/defensive back Austin Brockie sat out most of the second half of third-ranked Lummi's 48-28 loss to second-ranked Neah Bay with a leg problem, but the Red Devils clamped down on him in the first half and held him to one catch on what Brockie tried to turn into a trick play. Neah Bay's emphasis on Brockie opened the way for senior Dimitri Sampson to grab 10 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns, but Sampson, who also rushed for 43 yards, wound up being about two-thirds of Lummi's total offense of 352 yards, including 293 in the first half.
The Blackhawks, who traded touchdowns with the Red Devils in an eight-possession stretch of the wild 28-28 first half, were shut out in the second half before one of the largest home crowds in their 11-season football history. Had all the people on the sidelines and on the hills tried to sit in the stands, there would not have been nearly as much room.
One of the reasons for such large attendance is that Lummi's roster lists 38 players from eighth to 12th grades, which principal Heather Leighton confirmed is "well over" half the boys in the student body. Throw in more than two dozen players in attendance from the elementary school Wolfpack team, and football is healthy indeed at Lummi, notwithstanding the intense second-half frustration against Neah Bay.
MCGUINN STARS ON OFFENSE AND DEFENSE
Meridian quarterback Max McGuinn put on quite the show against Friday Harbor Friday, Sept. 28, in Laurel.
McGuinn completed 10 of 19 passes for 126 yards, as the Trojans came from behind to defeat the Wolverines 27-26. McGuinn was a force on the ground, too, running 13 times for a team-leading 56 yards and two touchdowns.
One of those rushing touchdowns was from 29 yards out, when McGuinn broke free from the defensive pass rush and scampered into the end zone.
"(McGuinn) brings us all together," Meridian running back Evan Childs said. "He is a great captain. (As a quarterback), he makes the right reads and finds good passing lanes."
McGuinn contributed from his defensive back position as part of the Meridian defense that held Wolverine passers to two completions for 10 yards and an interception, which was returned 38 yards for a touchdown by Junior Castro.
BIG PLAYS PROPEL BORDERITES TO WIN
The Blaine Borderites displayed a quick-strike offense Friday, Sept. 28, against Lynden Christian. The Borderites had touchdowns of 82, 76, 71 and 43 yards.
"We went up and down the field with big plays," Blaine head coach Jay Dodd said. "It wasn't necessarily long drives. We stayed patient and stayed patient and popped the big one."
Blaine tailback Mario Gobbato, who broke the Whatcom County rushing record Friday night, broke the record on an 82-yard touchdown run.
LYNDEN TAKES ADVANTAGE OF ODD RULE
The Lynden football team took advantage of an obscure rule in their 41-0 win over Sehome on Friday, Sept. 28.
After keeping Sehome on its own 6-yard line and forcing the Mariners to punt, the Lions' special teams unit caught the fair catch on the 32-yard line.
"It's a rule I have known about for a long time," Lynden coach Curt Kramme said. "You don't see it often because the situation rarely arises. It was kind of confusing for the guys because we have never practiced it before. It was kind of fun."
In the rules of the game, a team may elect to perform a fair catch kick from where the fair catch was caught.
The opposing team must stand 10 yards back from the ball and the kicking team lines up as though it is a kickoff, but with a ball holder.
Lynden opted to perform this play in the fourth quarter.
Lynden kicker Alex Otano-Guenther made the 41-yard free kick.
"Alex is doing well," Kramme said. "He has been working hard during the offseason."
CLASS 2A/3A GAME OF THE WEEK
Sehome at Burlington-Edison
7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5
The Mariners are still looking for a defining victory, and getting one against a talented but smallish Tigers squad would certainly be that. A win would also put Sehome in the middle of the postseason push out of the NWC 2A/3A.
CLASS 1A GAME OF THE WEEK
Meridian at Nooksack Valley
7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5
The two teams have had some pretty good battles in recent years, but this is their only regular-season meeting this year. The Trojans are coming off a one-point win over previously unbeaten Friday Harbor, while Nooksack Valley finds itself in must-win territory after a blowout loss to Mount Baker in the first week of the NWC 1A season.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.