TACOMA - The second half has been the Lummi football team's undoing the last two times it's taken on rival Neah Bay.
After a pair of relatively close first halves, the Red Devils have come out of the locker room and outscored the Blackhawks and gone on to victories last year in the first round of the Class 1B state playoffs and in a Northwest Football League 1B game earlier this season in September by a combined score of 62-14.
But Lummi didn't even make it to halftime before finding itself in trouble on Saturday, Nov. 24, in the 1B state semifinals.
Uncharacteristic offensive struggles by the Blackhawks offense during the first half proved too much to overcome, as Lummi was eliminated by Neah Bay for the second straight year with a 40-30 loss.
"I don't know what happened," Lummi coach Jim Sandusky said. "We made way too many errors in the first half."
Lummi (10-3) was outgained more than 2-to-1 (400 to 198 yards) by Neah Bay in the first 24 minutes, as the Red Devils surged to a 24-6 lead by halftime. In fact, Neah Bay quarterback Josiah Greene had more rushing yards at halftime than the entire Blackhawks' offense was able to generate, as he had 216 yards on 13 carries.
By the end of the day, Greene finished with 279 yards and three touchdowns and was joined in triple figures by teammate Joey Monje (144). Cody Cummins add 83 yards, as the Red Devils rolled up 512 on 55 carries.
But little did they know that would be their only first down of the first quarter and one of only nine offensive plays they would even run in the frame.
And the lead was very short lived, as Greene took Neah Bay's first play from scrimmage 80 yards for a touchdown, and then threw for a 2-point conversion to make it 8-6.
The Lummi defense picked up a goal line stand at its own 1, but Neah Bay turned that into a safety, when Tom had to try to track down a low snap in the end zone.
Greene then added a 17-yard pass on a fourth-and-goal play to make it 16-6 at the end of the first quarter, and Monje's 79-yard run off an inside handoff gave the Red Devils a 24-6 lead at the half.
Lummi's high-octane passing attack completed only four of its 12 attempts in the half.
And worst of all, Lummi committed a pair of turnovers.
Sandusky made holding on to the ball a priority during the week leading up to the game, especially considering the Blackhawks were minus-6 in that department during their two losses to Neah Bay.
"I told the guys that we need to start playing better," Sandusky said. "We had to keep our heads up. We scored 40 points in the third quarter last week, so we couldn't give up."
Things got marginally better in the second half, though, as Lummi could only trade touchdown for touchdown with the Red Devils in the third quarter.
Greene capped Neah Bay's first drive of the second half with a 23-yard touchdown run to make it 32-6.
Lummi managed to answer, when Tom found Devin Cooper from 36 yards out to pull Lummi within 20 points, but the Blackhawks couldn't grab an onside kick attempt.
Two long runs by Monje set up a 2-yard scoring run by Greene, his third of the game.
Deion Hoskins got a 3-yard score to make it 40-18 at the end of the third quarter.
A 34-yard touchdown pass from Logan Toby to Dino Williams and Hoskins' 1-yard TD run made the score closer, but Lummi failed on all six point-after attempts and could never get within striking distance.
Lummi listed 11 seniors on its roster, including its entire starting line of Eli Wall, Jeremy Spottedbear and Kevin Cultee, Tom, and top offensive threat Dimitri Sampson.
"We're still relatively young," Sandusky said. "Jared, he was off and on for us (in terms of being active), so we had to use Logan Toby a lot. He should be ready to go next year. At running back, we've got Devin coming back, and of course Deion. But where we're going to have to find some guys is on the line. Those guys did a great job for us this year, and we'll miss them."
Reach David Rasbach at email@example.com or 360-715-2286.
Lummi 6 0 12 12-30
Neah Bay 16 8 16 0- 40
Lum - Austin Brockie 74 pass from Jared Tom (pass failed), 11:05
NB - Josiah Greene 80 run (Zeke Greene pass from Josiah Greene), 10:36
NB - Safety, 5:12
NB - Leyton Doherty 17 pass from Josiah Greene (pass failed), 1:40
NB - Joey Monje 79 run (Josiah Greene run), 7:11
NB - Josiah Greene 23 run (Zeke Greene from Josiah Greene), 8:21
Lum - Devin Cooper 36 pass from Jared Tom (pass failed), 5:50
NB - Josiah Greene 2 run (Cody Cummins pass from Josiah Greene), 4:25
Lum - Deion Hoskins 3 run (pass failed), 1:00
Lum - Dino Williams 34 pass from Logan Toby (pass failed), 7:12
Lum - Hoskins 1 run (pass failed), 2:57
First downs 14 17
Rushes-yards 27-146 44-512
Pass att-cmp-int 10-20-1 5-11-0
Passing yards 260 86
Third down conv. 3-8 1-8
Fourth down conv. 2-2 2-5
Penalites-yards 12-109 7-44
Fumbles-lost 3-1 1-0
Possession time 21:33 26:27
Lummi Att. Yds Avg. TD
Dimitri Sampson 5 39 7.8 0
Jared Tom 4 29 7.2 0
Deion Hoskins 2 2 1.0 0
Devin Cooper 6 54 9.0 0
Logan Toby 7 27 3.9 0
Willie Jones 1 -5 -5.0 0
Neah Bay Att. Yds Avg. TD
Josiah Greene 24 279 11.6 3
Cody Cummins 11 83 20.6 0
John Reamer 1 -13 -13.0 0
Tyler McCaulley 1 5 5.0 0
Joey Monje 7 144 20.6 1
DeShawn Halttunen 2 3 1.5 0
Lummi Cmp. Att. Yards TD Int.
Jared Tom 5 8 120 2 0
Logan Toby 5 12 140 1 1
Neah Bay Cmp. Att. Yards TD Int.
Josiah Greene 5 11 86 1 0
Lummi Rec. Yds Long TD
Austin Brockie 2 107 74 1
Devin Cooper 2 38 36 1
Dino Williams 2 64 34 1
Deion Hoskins 2 39 37 0
Neah Bay Rec. Yds Long TD
Leyton Doherty 4 61 21 1
Zeke Greene 1 25 25 0
Reach DAVID RASBACH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2271.