Week 4 high school football preview capsules

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDSeptember 27, 2013 

BURLINGTON-EDISON AT FERNDALE

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27

Site: Ferndale High School

Tigers update: Ninth-ranked (2A) Burlington-Edison fell to 2-1 with a 27-7 loss at Mount Vernon last week. NWC-leading rusher Jae Evans was held to 36 yards on 16 carries in the game, and the Tigers averaged only 3.3 yards on 42 carries. Hunter Jacobson, who scored Burlington's only TD last week, has averaged 12.8 yards rushing on his 14 attempts this season.

Golden Eagles update: Class 3A 10th-ranked Ferndale improved to 3-0 with a 28-6 win over Garfield last week. Joey Akers rushed for 72 yards and two TDs, while Marcus Nightingale had his second straight 100-yard game with 120 yards and a TD on 17 carries. The Golden Eagles defense ended up being the difference in the game, especially in the second half, as it limited Garfield to 119 yards of total offense.

Player to watch: Daniel Jones has proved to be an explosive threat for Ferndale both running the ball and catching it. He has five TDs on 22 carries and added another on a 42-yard reception last week.

Key to the game: The game features the NWC's top three running backs in Burlington's Evans (409 yards, 7 TDs) and Ferndale's Nightingale (375 yards, 3 TDs) and Akers (367 yards, 7 TDs). Whichever defense does a better job stopping the run gives their team a big boost.

Herald's pick: Ferndale 35-27

LYNDEN AT SEDRO-WOOLLEY

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27

Site: Sedro-Woolley High School

Lions update: Class 2A top-ranked Lynden improved to 3-0 with a 27-20 win at Mount Baker last week. The Lions came back from a 10-point halftime deficit, thanks to three second-half TDs from Trent Postma. Lucas Petersen leads the NWC with 561 yards passing, and last week he made good use of his big targets Jalani Phelps (four catches, 47 yards) and Scooter Hastings (3 catches, 67 yards, 1 TD).

Cubs update: Sedro-Woolley improved to 2-1 with a 41-6 victory at Nooksack Valley last week. RB Shawn Kennedy had his second straight big game with 138 yards and two TDs on 21 carries. Clayton Johnson was a valuable second option, rushing for 95 yards and a TD on six carries. The Cubs defense, meanwhile has limited its last two opponents to 239 yards and nine points, combined.

Player to watch: Lynden's defensive line was missing a few starters due to injury last week at Mount Baker, but Tristan Campbell made some nice plays. The Lions will need their slanting front to disrupt a Sedro ground attack that's gained 697 yards and scored nine TDs the past two weeks.

Key to the game: Despite all the yards Sedro-Woolley is capable of piling up on the ground, Braden Blouin has shown good ability to throw, as he's passed for 192 yards and four TDs the past two weeks. Lynden's defense certainly is going to be tested this week.

Herald's pick: Lynden 38-35

LYNDEN CHRISTIAN AT ANACORTES

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27

Site: Anacortes High School

Lyncs update: Lynden Christian improved to 2-1 with a 13-7 win at Coupeville last week. The Lyncs defense came up big, limiting the Wolves to 4.0 yards per rush attempt and 36 yards passing in the game and forcing six turnovers. QB Lucas Roetcisoender wasn't quite as sharp as a week earlier, going 5 for 20 for 50 yards and two interceptions, but he did hit Alex Vander Velden for the duo's fifth TD so far this year.

Seahawks update: Anacortes improved to 2-1 with a 27-23 win over Sehome last week. QB Jared Douglas had a breakout game, rushing for 186 yards and two TDs and throwing for 159 yards and two more scores. His top target was Joe D'Amelio (2 catches, 99 yards, 1 TD). The Seahawks defense allowed Sehome 274 yards rushing at 6.7 yards per attempt.

Player to watch: Running back Jordan Jansen has been the Lyncs' top threat on the ground with 260 yards and two TDs this season, and he had his first 100-yard game last week (16 attempts, 107 yards, TD).

Key to the game: Anacortes already has exceeded last year's win total, and the Seahawks have shown an ability to win the close ones - their two victories coming by five points combined on fourth-quarter comebacks. The Lyncs, who won 21-14 last year, don't want to give them another chance.

Herald's pick: Anacortes 20-17

MERIDIAN AT SEHOME

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27

Site: Civic Stadium

Trojans update: Meridian (1-2) picked up its first win of the year via a 2-0 forfeit, when Tri-Cities Prep called the night before to cancel its game because of a lack of players due to sickness and injury. Letrez Jones leads the Trojans in both rushing (26 attempts, 180 yards, 3 TDs) and receiving (8 catches, 153 yards, 1 TD) this year. Jacob Plagerman has 11 catches for 128 yards and a score.

Mariners update: Sehome dropped to 1-2 with a 27-23 loss to Anacortes last week when Jared Douglas scored the game-winner with 1:12 left to play. The Mariners struggled to stop him both running and passing the ball. Taylor Rapp returned from a Week 2 injury to run for 84 yards on 16 carries and catch two passes for 28 more. The Mariners averaged 6.7 yards per attempt on the ground.

Player to watch: Daniel Ziegler nearly willed Sehome to the win last week, as he rushed for 129 yards and two TDs on 15 attempts, passed for 79 yards and returned a kickoff 99 yards for a TD.

Key to the game: Meridian beat Sehome 19-13 last year on Junior Castro's 3-yard run with 16 seconds left to play, and after last week's loss, it's evident the Mariners need to learn how to hold onto leads late.

Herald's pick: Meridian 21-20

BELLINGHAM AT BLAINE

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27

Site: Blaine High School

Red Raiders update: Bellingham fell to 0-3 with a 42-6 loss to Squalicum last week. Melvin Deal rushed for 96 yards and the Red Raiders' only score on 15 carries. The rest of the team combined for 30 yards of total offense. The Bellingham defense has allowed only 73 yards and two touchdowns through the air, but has yielded 1,176 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground.

Blaine update: Blaine fell to 0-3 with a 46-17 loss to Lakewood last week. QB Nathan Kramme struggled, going 8 for 18 for 39 yards with four interceptions, but has thrown for 400 yards and seven TDs this season. Josiah Westbrook has all seven TD catches on 14 catches for 250 yards. The Borderites defense limited Lakewood to 116 rushing yards on 39 carries (3.0 average).

Player to watch: Blaine RB Cole Muder has to be anxious to go against a Bellingham defense that is allowing 8.8 yards per carry this year. Muder is averaging 5.1 yards on his 62 carries (315 yards) and has two TDs.

Key to the game: Blaine is hopeful that facing three quality opponents early in the year will help it once the NWC 1A season rolls around next week. One area the Borderites know they must improve is their minus-9 turnover differential.

Herald's pick: Blaine 35-7

COUPEVILLE AT NOOKSACK VALLEY

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27

Site: Nooksack Valley High School

Wolves update: Coupeville fell to 1-2 with a 13-6 loss to Lynden Christian last week. QB Jake Tumblin rushed for 125 yards on 12 carries in the game. The Wolves have a new center, as Matt Shank moved from wide receiver to make his first start last week. The Wolves rushed for 147 yards on 37 carries while allowing the Lyncs 185 on 37 attempts. The Wolves had six turnovers in the game.

Pioneers update: Nooksack Valley fell to 1-2 with a 41-6 loss to Sedro-Woolley last week. The Pioneers were held to 134 yards of total offense in the game, including 22 yards on the ground on 20 attempts (1.1 average). Dalton Biehle scored his first TD of the year on a 20-yard reception from QB Tanner Myhre, who threw for 112 yards and was intercepted twice.

Player to watch: Junior Lathan Halaapiapi was expected to be Nooksack Valley's best lineman this year. The Pioneers need both fronts to assert themselves this week after the team was out rushed 336-22 by Sedro-Woolley.

Key to the game: The Pioneers have turned the ball over three times in each of their first three games, and that's something they need to get fixed before the NWC 1A season rolls around next week.

Herald's pick: Nooksack Valley 24-7

MOUNT BAKER AT CEDARCREST

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27

Site: Cedarcrest High School

Mountaineers update: Class 1A eighth-ranked Mount Baker fell to 2-1 with a 27-20 loss to Lynden last week. The Mountaineers led 17-7 at the half after holding the Lions to 14 offensive plays in the first half. Izaiha Schwinden's 80 yards and two TDs led a Mount Baker ground attack that went for 160 yards. Jed Schleimer rushed for 53 yards on 15 carries in his first start, while Seth Bass had four catches for 47 yards.

Red Wolves update: Cedarcrest fell to 1-2 with a 49-28 Cascade Conference loss to Sultan last week. The Red Wolves allowed three Turks backs to rush for more than 80 yards in the game. Cedarcrest's lone win this season came over Sammamish 25-20 in the first week of the season. Colson Scott rushed for 200 yards and two TDs in that game.

Player to watch: Mount Baker TE Hunter Gates made his first two receptions of the season last week. He could provide the Mountaineers with a big target when they decide to take to the air.

Key to the game: Cedarcrest had difficulty stopping the run last week against Sultan. Look for the Mountaineers, who are averaging 304.7 yards per game, to see how soft that Red Wolves defense really is.

Herald's pick: Mount Baker 42-10

EVERGREEN LUTHERAN AT LUMMI

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27

Site: Lummi Nation School

Eagles update: Evergreen Lutheran improved to 1-1 with a 68-6 win over Crescent last week. The Eagles scored in the first 16 seconds of the game on their new artificial turf field and didn't stop, scoring 30 in each of the first two quarters. The Eagles have good size and experience led by quarterback Ryan Gonzales.

Blackhawks update: Third-ranked (1B) Lummi improved to 2-1 with a 57-16 victory at Taholah last week. Dean Williams caught a pair of touchdowns in the game, while Charlie Wilson and Tony Decoteau each had another. Kavarez Lane, Deion Hoskins and Devin Cooper all rushed for TDs, as Lummi jumped out to a 49-0 lead through the first three quarters. The Blackhawks beat Evergreen Lutheran 69-18 last year.

Player to watch: Lummi's Austin Brockie is usually on the receiving end of touchdowns, but with Logan Toby out with a neck injury, he ended up throwing for four in last week's win.

Key to the game: Lummi's biggest game of the regular season against Neah Bay is only a week away, so the Blackhawks can't get caught looking ahead, but they also need to get healthy to face the Red Devils.

Herald's pick: Lummi 58-7

SQUALICUM AT SEAQUAM SECONDARY

Time: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28

Site: Sequam Secondary

Storm update: Squalicum improved to 2-1 with a 42-6 win over Bellingham. Though his 6-yard TD pass to Ben Garcia was his only completion of the night, QB Clark Hazlett rushed for 158 yards and two TDs. RB Nick Manchester also rushed for a season-high 136 yards and scored a TD, as the Storm rushed for 442 yards and five TDs overall. The Squalicum defense, meanwhile, limited Bellingham to 126 yards of total offense.

Seahawks update: Seaquam, a Double A school from Delta, B.C., fell to 1-2-1 with a 20-6 loss to Holy Cross last week. The loss came a week after a 20-20 tie with Windsor, in which Seaquam battled back from a 20-0 halftime hole. QB Joss Yanciw threw for a pair of TDs and ran for another in the game. He had TD throws of 65 and 45 yards to Jayden Mah and Masaki Kawanami, respectively.

Player to watch: After leading the team with 939 yards and 15 TDs rushing last year, Luke Weber has taken seen the ball quite a bit less this year with 95 yards and two TDs on 19 carries. But the Storm keeps finding new ways to utilize his talent.

Key to the game: Squalicum bounced back nicely from its Week 2 stinker against Sedro-Woolley. Establishing a little bit of consistency would be nice for the Storm, as it prepares to head into the meat of its NWC 2A/3A schedule.

Herald's pick: Squalicum 35-10

Reach DAVID RASBACH at david.rasbach@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2271.

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