BELLINGHAM - The Squalicum Storm roared back from its first loss of the season to take a 28-7 Northwest Conference Class 2A/3A win over Anacortes on Friday, Oct. 5, at Civic Stadium.
After a close first half, the Storm (5-1, 3-1 NWC) pulled away from the visiting Seahawks. Luke Weber ground out 79 yards rushing, including a touchdown, and Nick Manchester added 77 yards and two touchdowns to lead a steady attack against winless Anacortes.
Still, the two teams went to the locker rooms at halftime tied at seven. Anacortes running back Nick Monroe, with 58 rushing yards in the first half (82 overall), led a ground game for the Seahawks that kept them in the game.
A 19-play, 87-yard drive ended on a touchdown by Anacortes quarterback Andrew Medalia on a keeper. The sustained drive and score tied the game at 7, and kept Squalicum from establishing its offense.
For Squalicum, dropped passes and penalties kept it from establishing a rhythm and from running very many plays in the first half.
"A little nervous there in the first half," Squalicum coach Reed Richardson said after the game. "Anacortes came out, played hard, and we made a lot of mistakes and it was a close game at halftime, but our kids came out in the second half and played the game they needed to play."
Storm defensive back Trey Hunter intercepted three passes in the second half, the second one leading to an 8-yard touchdown run by Weber to break open a 14-7 game late in the third quarter.
Hunter said a priority in Squalicum practice the last week was to cover the passes, and the work paid off. The Storm kept Anacortes to just two completions on eight attempts for 24 yards.
Weber said that at halftime, "We were concerned, but we knew that it was all from our mistakes," and the team came out and executed the second half.
"We feel like we got a lot of weapons," Richardson said.
After running few plays in the first half the Storm wanted to get the ball to Manchester, who had no carries by halftime. Manchester responded with 77 yards on nine carries in the second half, including two runs of 13 and 8 yards up the middle for scores.
"We gotta give Nick the ball," Richardson said, "because he makes plays."
Squalicum plays Sehome next on Friday, Oct. 12, at Civic Stadium.
Anacortes 0 7 0 0- 7
Squalicum 7 0 14 7- 28
Squalicum - Ben Garcia 7 yard pass from Clark Hazlett (Quinn Carpenter kick)
Anacortes - Andrew Medalia 4 yard run (Kyle Jones kick)
Squalicum - Nick Manchester 13 yard run (Quinn Carpenter kick)
Squalicum - Luke Weber 8 yard run (Quinn Carpenter kick)
Squalicum - Nick Manchester 8 yard run (Quinn Carpenter kick)
First downs 7 18
Rushing Att-Yards 33-116 47-268
Comp-Att-Int 2-87-3 4-12-1
Passing yards 24 24
Penalties-yards 3-47 6-67
Fumbles-lost 2-2 2-1
RUSHING - Anacortes: Andrew Medalia 4-10, Nick Monroe 20-82, Rich Postera 4-14, Austin Drawdy 4-10. Squalicum: Clark Hazlett 2-18, Brandon LeDoux 5-44, Luke Weber 21-79, Nick Manchester 9-77, Nathan Striggow 1-(-3), DJ Mitchell 2-21, Mac Novak 7-32
PASSING - Anacortes: Andrew Medalia 2-8-0-24, Tristen Hayes 0-1-0-0. Squalicum: Clark Hazlett 4-11-1-24, Blake Youtsey 0-1-0-0, Nathan Striggow 0-0-0-0.
RECEIVING - Anacortes: A.J. Yost 1-25, Austin Dawdry 1- (-1). Squalicum: Ben Garcia 3-29, Luke Weber 1- (-5).