BELLINGHAM - Another year, another city title for Squalicum.
For half a decade now, the Storm has been able to say it's the best football team in Bellingham.
"It's huge to win a city championship," Squalicum coach Reed Richardson said. "More important for us, we played sound football for four quarters."
Luke Weber ran for three touchdowns, and the Squalicum defense created six fumbles and recovered four as the Storm beat city-rival Sehome 28-20 during a rainy Class 2A/3A Northwest Conference game Friday, Oct. 12, at Civic Stadium.
"It feels really good," Squalicum running back Nick Manchester said. "We practiced hard all week, and it paid off."
The Storm (6-1, 4-1 NWC 2A/3A) beat Bellingham 42-20 in Week 3 to claim its fifth straight city title.
The last time Squalicum lost to Bellingham or Sehome was in 2007 when the Red Raiders beat the Storm 20-13.
Sehome (2-5, 2-3 NWC 2A/3A) hung with Squalicum most of the game, but costly turnovers plagued the Mariners time and time again. The final blow was a Daniel Ziegler fumble on Squalicum's 13-yard line with four minutes left in the game. The Mariners were trailing 21-20 and looking for a go-ahead score.
The Mariners scored first on an Austin Rapp 4-yard run up the middle to take a 7-0 lead.
Following a Squalicum punt and turnover on downs on its next two possessions, the Storm cashed in on one of four Sehome fumbles.
Ziegler took a handoff around the right end on his own 30-yard line. He got stripped by a Squalicum defender, and Manchester scooped up the ball, ran it back for a touchdown and tied the game 7-7.
"It was great to show off our defense, and it was huge to get that play at that point in the game," Manchester said.
Sehome lost another fumble on its next possession after Rapp tried to make an option pitch late. Fortunately for the Mariners, Squalicum was unable to capitalize and went three-and-out.
Sehome's Willy Lallas made a huge play for the Mariners to set up their next score. Lallas rushed off the left edge on a fourth-and-17 and blocked Squalicum punter Blaze Yetter's kick midway through the second quarter.
Six plays later, Titi Lamositele scored from four yards out to put Sehome in front 14-7.
Squalicum answered with an eight play, 42-yard drive capped off with a Weber 2-yard score to tie the game at 14 as both teams went into the locker room tied.
In the second half, Weber began to take over. He finished a 10-play drive to open the third quarter with a 19-yard TD run off the left side to put Squalicum in front 21-14.
Ziegler made up for his early fumble on Sehome's next possession. The Mariners junior took a handoff around the right side 39 yards for a touchdown with 3:21 left in the third. Ziegler tried to score after a botched snap and hold onto the ensuing PAT, but got stopped at the 1-yard line.
Weber added his third score of the game late in the fourth after Squalicum forced a Ziegler fumble. Squalicum drove 87 yards to go up 28-20. The drive was highlighted by a 54-run run by Manchester.
Weber finished with 27 carries for 117 yards, and Manchester 11 rushes for 113 yards. Lamositele lead the Mariners with 89 yards on 14 carries.
Reach Andrew Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-756-2862.
Squalicum 7 7 7 7- 28
Sehome 7 7 6 0- 20
Seh - Austin Rapp 4 run (Sam Diehl kick)
Sq - Nick Manchester 30 fumble return (Quinn Carpenter kick)
Seh - Titi Lamositele 4 run (Diehl kick)
Sq - Luke Weber 2 run (Carpenter kick)
Sq - Weber 19 run (Carpenter kick)
Seh - Daniel Ziegler 39 run (run fail)
Sq - Weber 3 run (Carpenter kick)
First downs 14 15
Rushing Att-Yards 46-243 41-181
Comp-Att-Int 1-10-0 6-15-0
Passing yards 15 47
Penalties-yards 8-88 4-40
Fumbles-lost 2-0 6-4
RUSHING - Squalicum: Luke Weber 27-117, Nick Manchester 11-113, Mac Novak 2-8, Brandon LeDoux 1-1, Daniel Weber 1-2, Blaze Yetter 2-4, Clark Hazlett 2-(-2). Sehome: Titi Lamositele 14-89, Daniel Ziegler 12-55, Austin Rapp 7-21, Taylor Rapp 4-13, Forrest Longanecker 3-2, Daniel Goebel 1-1.
PASSING - Squalicum: Clark Hazlett 1-10-0-15. Sehome: Austin Rapp 6-13-0-47, Daniel Ziegler 0-2-0-0.
RECEIVING - Squalicum: Brandon LeDoux 1-15. Sehome: Daniel Goebel 2-6, Willy Lallas 1-23, Daniel Ziegler 1-6, Matt Haggen 1-5, Titi Lamositele 1-7.
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.