Ferndale speeds things up on offense

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDSeptember 15, 2013 

When you think of teams using hurry-up, no-huddle offenses to set the pace of the game, the first teams that usually come to mind are the New England Patriots and Tom Brady or the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning. Chip Kelly has made a living out of using the up-tempo offense, first at the University of Oregon and now with the Phildadelphia Eagles.

What do all those teams have in common? They tend to throw the ball - more than a little.

But, yes, that was Ferndale kicking up the tempo through part of the first half of it's game against Sehome on Friday, Sept. 13 - the same Ferndale that ran the ball 60 times for 449 yards out of its base Wing-T formation and was credited with only one pass attempt in the game.

OK, the Golden Eagles did attempt one other pass, but it was negated by a defensive pass interference penalty, but you get the point.

"It's something we've had in since the beginning this year," Ferndale coach Jamie Plenkovich said. "We feel if we get a team on its heels and gash them a little bit, then all of a sudden we're coming back to the line of the scrimmage with something else. I think it's pretty effective. I think their front was getting a little tired. If we can do that and wear a team down, that's going to be an advantage for us."

It certainly worked Friday, as the Golden Eagles scored the first 27 points of the game and won 48-21.

DAVID RASBACH

LUCAS PETERSEN MAKING STRIDES WITHIN LYNDEN'S OFFENSE

Entering the new season, one big question surrounding Lynden football was who would navigate the Lions' potent spread offense in 2013. Athletic 6-foot-3 junior quarterback Lucas Petersen earned the nod, and he proved why during Lynden's 51-14 drubbing of Anacortes on Friday in Lynden.

Petersen finished 11 for 21 for 170 yards, a touchdown and an interception during the season opener against King's, in which the Lions moved the ball but failed to convert drives into points.

The first-year quarterback didn't have a problem leading his offense to paydirt against Anacortes. He finished 9 for 17 with 120 yards, a passing TD and no picks. He also rushed for 42 yards and three scores.

The Lions turned their six first-half drives into five touchdowns and a 26-yard field goal.

"He's been very good," Lynden coach Curt Kramme said of Petersen during his first two weeks. "That doesn't mean there isn't lots of things he can work on. He still needs to step into his throws a little bit, have a little more faith and pipe it in there hard. He needs to learn when to throw hard and when to throw it soft, and that comes from experience. The one thing I will say about Lucas is that he is a great student of the game. He is very coachable and I think he is going to get better and better each week."

Petersen showed his versatility as a dual-threat quarterback with his three TDs on the ground, most notably a skillful 21-yard scramble down the right sideline in the second quarter.

A ball-hawking defense, which the Lions have proved to be during Weeks 1 and 2, will help Petersen's growth, as will cohesiveness within the offensive line as the season wears on.

"I'm improving a lot at practice," Petersen said, "and coach Kramme is helping me a lot. The O-line is improving a lot, too, everybody, the receivers. It's just nice to have all that trust and improvement."

ANDREW LANG

DEDICATION PAYS OFF FOR VANDER VELDEN

Lynden Christian wide receiver Alex Vander Velden has been outstanding through the first two games of this season, drawing high praise from his coach Galen Kaemingk.

"Alex is a guy I don't have to worry about," Kaemingk said. "I know about his dedication."

Vander Velden broke his ankle in the first game of last season, but has shown no signs of the injury in 2013. He has caught seven passes for 234 yards in two games, giving the Lyncs a much needed deep threat for quarterback Lucas Roetcisoender.

After he injured his ankle last year, he continued to show up at practices and work his way back to the team, even playing in the last game of the year in 2012.

"He showed up rain or snow while he was on crutches," Kaemingk said.

The receiver will look to continue his success as the Lyncs trip to bounce back from a 49-21 loss to Friday Harbor on Friday, Sept. 20, against Coupeville.

JOSHUA HART

TROJANS BATTERED BY LAKEWOOD

Meridian got knocked around in a physical game against Lakewood on Friday and will have a few battle scars to show for it. The Trojans' starting quarterback, Tanner Tutterrow, took a hard hit from a Lakewood defender in the fourth quarter and did not return to the game.

Meridian wasn't caught unprepared when it lost Tutterrow, as Jamison Hodge stepped in and threw a pass on his first snap. The Trojans had been practicing with both Tutterrow and Hodge at quarterback in practice last week, because Tutterrow entered the season with a shoulder injury he suffered over the summer playing baseball.

Meridian running back Letrez Jones got his bell rung in the fourth quarter with a hit so brutal it knocked his helmet off. Jones was able to return to game action two plays later, and said Lakewood played fast and physical. Whenever a Meridian ballcarrier had a Lakewood defender on him, two or three more would pile on to make sure the Trojan rusher went down.

ALEX PETERSON

HOSKINS WEARING MANY HATS

Deion Hoskins, listed at 290 pounds for his senior season at Lummi, will present a bit of a dilemma to the coaching staff.

He has become a very valuable offensive tackle - he always has been a standout linebacker - but he also may be Lummi's best running back.

Hoskins played on the line on Lummi's first two series of the Blackhawks' 36-28 non-league loss to LaConner. Then he moved in at running back, where he has been so often effective on power plays for three seasons, and gained 10 and 14 yards on his first two carries.

The hard-working Hoskins, who rarely leaves the field, was called on to carry the ball only four more times for a net of 2 more yards. He spent most of the night playing up front as the Blackhawks were limited to 70 yards rushing on 20 carries, including a 23-yard sprint near the end of the game when receiver Austin Brockie took a brief turn at quarterback.

MICHELLE NOLAN

RED RAIDERS GET OFFENSE GOING

Bellingham's offense showed a lot of improvement against Burlington-Edison, scoring 21 points after getting blanked a week early against Mount Baker.

All three of the Red Raiders' touchdowns were scored on running plays - Melvin Deal had the first, and Tanner Aliff added on the other two.

Aliff, Deal, Noah Silverman and quarterback Eric Thompson combined to rush for 333 yards.

KAMERON PAYNE

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