Week 4 high school football previews

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDOctober 3, 2013 

LUMMI AT NEAH BAY

Time: 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4

Site: Neah Bay High School

Blackhawks update: Class 1B No. 3 Lummi (3-1) beat Evergreen Lutheran 67-6 last week. Austin Brockie continued to shine at quarterback while filling in for the injured Logan Toby, as he passed for 250 yards and six TDs. Dean Williams caught two passes for 65 yards and two TDs, while Devin Cooper had three catches for 59 yards and two scores. Deion Hoskins rushed for 89 yards and two TDs on four carries.

Red Devils update: Class 1B No. 1 Neah Bay (3-0) was idle last week after beating Clallam Bay 56-14 on Sept. 20. The Red Devils have allowed only 32 points so far this year while scoring 170. Old Lummi nemesis Josiah Greene ran for three TDs and 205 yards in Neah's victory over Clallam Bay, and he threw for another.

Player to watch: Willie Jones has become a big part of the Blackhawks offense the past two weeks, as he's caught four passes for 123 yards and three TDs.

Key to the game: Neah Bay has won the last three meetings between the rivals, including two in the 1B state playoffs. In those games, Lummi is minus-8 in the turnover differential. Turnovers will again play a key role in this meeting, which likely will end up giving the winner a bye and a home game come playoff time. Lummi is plus-8 so far this year with 13 takeaways.

Herald's pick: Neah Bay 38-35

MERIDIAN AT FRIDAY HARBOR

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4

Site: Friday Harbor High School

Trojans update: Meridian (2-2) won its second straight and its first game without the benefit of a forfeit, topping Sehome 41-36 last week. Letrez Jones had a big day, rushing for 148 yards and four TDs and catching four passes for 32 more yards. QB Tanner Tutterrow also returned from a Week 2 injury to pass for 101 yards and run for another TD. He's passed for 513 yards and three TDs this season.

Wolverines update: Friday Harbor (3-1) won its third straight by holding off Class 2B power La Conner 30-28. Sergio Trujillo had a pair of TD receptions to help the Wolverines jump out to a 22-0 halftime lead. The injury bug has bit Friday Harbor hard, but fortunately for the Wolverines RB/LB Nathan Steenkolk is healthy. The big, physical back had 319 yards rushing and four TDs in the first two weeks.

Player to watch: Bryce Garcia emerged as a valuable second option to Jones in the backfield for the Trojans in last week's game, as he rushed for 145 yards and a TD on 22 carries.

Key to the game: Meridian's defense must stop Steenkolk. He averaged 11.8 yards per carry the first two weeks, while the Trojans have surrendered 6.7 per carry so far this year.

Herald's pick: Meridian 28-24

FERNDALE AT SQUALICUM

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4

Site: Civic Stadium

Golden Eagles update: Ferndale (4-0, 2-0 NWC 2A/3A) came back from 14 points down and then made a last-second goal-line stand to beat Burlington-Edison 35-28 last week. Marcus Nightingale had his third straight big game rushing the ball with 190 yards and three TDs against Burlington and now ranks second in the NWC with 565 yards and six TDs. Joey Akers rushed for 124 yards on 21 carries and a TD.

Storm update: Squalicum (3-1, 1-1) beat Seaquam, B.C., 48-6 last week. After allowing 91 points the first two weeks, the Storm defense has limited Bellingham and Seaquam to six apiece. Luke Weber has re-emerged as Squalicum's top running threat with 206 yards and three TDs the past two weeks. Ben Peterson leads the team with 12 catches for 174 yards, but Ben Garcia has 10 catches for 150 yards and three TDs.

Player to watch: Max Evans and the rest of the Squalicum defensive front is going to be tested by a Ferndale offense that is averaging 388.3 yards and 5.5 touchdowns rushing per game so far this season.

Key to the game: Squalicum has averaged 283.7 yards rushing in its three wins and had only 19 in its loss. Ferndale allowed 159 yards to Burlington in the first half and only 34 in a scoreless second half. As is usually the case, whoever wins at the line of scrimmage will win this game.

Herald's pick: Ferndale 34-21

SEHOME AT LYNDEN

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4

Site: Lynden High School

Mariners update: Sehome (1-3, 0-2 NWC 2A/3A) lost its third straight, as a valiant comeback fell short in a 41-36 loss to Meridian. Daniel Ziegler rushed for 122 yards and a TD in the game, while Evan Miksovsky continued to emerge as a receiving threat, catching eight passes for 110 yards and two TDs. The Mariners have allowed 982 yards and 15 TDs on the ground the past three weeks.

Lions update: Class 2A No. 1 Lynden (4-0, 2-0) scored an impressive and important 21-7 win at Sedro-Woolley. Not only did the Lions defense not allow a point - the Cubs' only score came on a kickoff return for a TD - it held a ground attack averaging 348.5 yards the past two weeks to 121 yards. Trent Postma, meanwhile, rushed for 94 yards and a TD on 16 attempts.

Player to watch: Aaron Nichols burst on to the scene at quarterback for Sehome, completing 17 of 30 passes for 235 yards and three TDs and nearly leading the Mariners to a comeback win.

Key to the game: The Lions will be going for their 18th straight win, but one area they'd like to cut down on is their turnovers. Though Lynden owns a plus-1 turnover ratio, they have committed eight miscues so far this year, and that must be cleaned up.

Herald's pick: Lynden 35-20

BLAINE AT LYNDEN CHRISTIAN

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4

Site: Lynden Christian

Borderites update: Blaine (1-3) broke through in a big way for its first win, beating Bellingham 45-8. Cole Muder led the way with 214 yards and three TDs on 18 carries. Nathan Kramme and Riley Fritsch also ran for TDs. Kramme passed for 161 yards, with NWC leader Josiah Westbrook catching three passes for 86 yards. Rudy Nolasco rushed for 69 yards and caught four passes for 46 more.

Lyncs update: Lynden Christian (2-2) fell 21-0 at Anacortes last week. The Lyncs generated five turnovers last week and are plus-6 so far this season, but the offense could not turn any of them into points. LC produced only 164 yards of total offense. Lucas Roetcisoender threw for 108 yards and hit Alex Vander Velden four times for 73 yards. Josh Friberg was the Lyncs' top back with 35 yards on 15 carries.

Player to watch: Blaine linebacker Joe Leeking returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown last week and was part of a group that limited Bellingham to 157 total yards of offense, including 50 yards on 29 rushes.

Key to the game: Lynden Christian went winless in NWC 1A play last year, so coach Galen Kaemingk and his team have had their opener circled since the start of the season. Both teams, obviously, want to get conference play started off strong.

Herald's pick: Blaine 28-20

MOUNT BAKER AT NOOKSACK VALLEY

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4

Site: Nooksack Valley High School

Mountaineers update: Class 1A No. 6 Mount Baker (3-1) rebounded for its first loss with a 56-0 win at Cedarcrest. Izaiha Schwinden rushed for 207 yards and four TDs on only 11 carries, while Andrew Zender and Balyn Jacoby combined to complete all five passes they attempted for 99 yards. Each had a TD pass to Seth Bass, who had three receptions for 71 yards.

Pioneers update: Nooksack Valley (1-3) lost its second straight, falling 20-12 to Coupeville. Tanner Myhre scored both of the Pioneers' touchdowns, as he rushed for 133 yards on 30 carries, but the rest of the team accounted for only 14 yards rushing. Myhre passed for 186 yards, while Curtis Handy was his top target with four catches for 74 yards. Dalton Biehle had two catches for 45 yards.

Player to watch: After an injury and the Lynden defense limited him to 2 yards on four carries in Week 3, Baker's Liam Short bounced back with 114 yards and two TDs on five carries last week. He provides a valuable second option to Schwinden for the Mountaineers.

Key to the game: Turnovers have plagued the Pioneers through the first four weeks of the season. They had a season-high five last week and stand minus-11 overall this season with only three takeaways.

Herald's pick: Mount Baker 38-17

BELLINGHAM AT SEDRO-WOOLLEY

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4

Site: Sedro-Woolley High School

Red Raiders update: Bellingham (0-4, 0-2 NWC 2A/3A) lost 45-8 last week at Blaine. Leading rusher Melvin Deal did not get any carries in the game, and the Red Raiders were subsequently held to 50 yards on 29 rushes. Eric Thompson passed for 107 yards and a TD. The Bellingham defense struggled once again, allowing 393 yards rushing at 9.8 yards per carry and six TDs.

Cubs update: Sedro-Woolley (2-2, 1-1) lost 21-7 to Lynden last week. Three early fumbles really hurt the Cubs. Their running game, which averaged 7.0 yards per carry the previous two weeks, also stalled with 121 yards on 34 carries (3.6 average) and no TDs. Mason Elms caught four passes for 29 yards and returned a kickoff for a TD for Sedro's only points.

Player to watch: Bellingham junior Kailen Hayes was a bright spot last week, as he caught four passes for 101 yards and the Red Raiders' only touchdown.

Key to the game: Bellingham's inability to stop the run will likely play a big part in this one. The Red Raiders have already allowed 1,569 yards and 23 TDs on the ground at 9.0 yards per carry, and Sedro-Woolley has the backs and line to exploit that.

Herald's pick: Sedro-Woolley 42-7

ANACORTES AT BURLINGTON-EDISON

Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4

Site: Burlington-Edison High School

Seahawks update: Anacortes (3-1, 1-1 NWC 2A/3A) beat Lynden Christian 21-0 last week. The Seahawks defense limited the Lyncs to 152 yards of total offense. Quarterback Jared Douglas rushed for 42 yards and a TD and passed for 165 yards and two scores. Andrew Medalia was his top target, as he caught five passes for 91 yards and both touchdowns.

Tigers update: Burlington (2-2, 1-1) fell 35-28 at Ferndale last week after the Tigers were stopped at the goal line on the game's final play. Jae Evans had a huge first half, rushing for 130 of his 164 yards and scoring Burlington's first two TDs. Rudy Mataya added a kickoff return for a TD, but the Tigers allowed Ferndale 21 unanswered points in the second half and 387 yards rushing.

Player to watch: Quarterback Hunter Anderson passed for 127 yards last week and got the Tigers within inches of a game-tying touchdown on the final drive.

Key to the game: This shouldn't be a walkover for Burlington, which beat the Seahawks 55-7 last year. If Anacortes can keep things close, they've shown a knack for pulling games out.

Herald's pick: Burlington-Edison 35-20

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

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