TACOMA - If one's been the right Achilles heel for the Lummi football team the past three years, the other's been the left.
For the fifth straight meeting, Neah Bay quarterback Josiah Greene and running back Cody Cummins were simply too much for the Blackhawks to try to contain and ultimately, there were Lummi's undoing.
This time the duo combined to rush for 198 yards and score three touchdowns, helping Neah Bay end Lummi's season in the postseason for a third straight year with a 46-14 Class 1B state semifinal victory on Friday, Nov. 29, at the Tacoma Dome.
"They've got the outside game and the inside game," Lummi coach Jim Sandusky said. "If you try to overload the inside game and try to stuff them, you're going to be weak on the outside. It's hard to balance that."
Lummi never found a way to even the scales on Friday.
Cummins ran for 115 yards on 15 physical carries right into the teeth of the Lummi defense. Most of it came in the first half, when he rushed for 75 yards and started Neah Bay's comeback from an early 14-0 deficit with a 25-yard touchdown on a play Lummi looked primed to hold to a 7- or 8-yard gain.
And just when the Blackhawks seemed to slow up Cummins inside, Greene would race around the end for a first-down carry.
He finished with 89 yards on 18 carries and scored from a yard out in the third quarter.
"It's just chemistry," Cummins said of what makes the pair work together so well. "Playing together all these years, we know how each other plays and how each other runs. We have too many weapons - don't know who's going to get the ball; don't know where we're going to go. Even if they do, they still can't stop us."
Nobody knows how difficult it is to stop the Red Devils more than Sandusky.
For the past three years he's watched the Neah Bay duo run through his defense with much the same abandon as a Walmart shopper on Black Friday.
"I think it's up front," Sandusky said. "We have to come up and make the hits. It's not like they have a huge playbook. It's dive right, dive left, sweep right, sweep left and then play action off that. That's it really."
And definitely don't forget about the play-action pass.
Greene finished 8 for 10 pass for 179 yards and three touchdowns. All of it except one 26-yard completion came in the second half.
Greene was at his best during the third quarter when on consecutive plays he hit Zeke Greene for 26 yards, Tyler McCaulley for 24 yards and John Reamer for 24 more and a touchdown to cap off the first drive of the second half.
He would later hit McCaulley for a 33-yard touchdown and Reamer for a 22-yard score in the fourth quarter.
"Our linemen - they block, and our running backs run hard," Greene said. "We give it our all every play."
But for some reason, Cummins and Greene always seem to have something a little extra whenever they face their Northwest 1B League rivals from Lummi.
"It's just a rivalry," Cummins said. "We know everybody from there and have always been competitive."
But Friday marked the final time Lummi will have to try to figure out how to stop the Red Devils' duo, as both are listed as seniors.
"I'd love to see them again," Sandusky said. "We just have to play better."
That's what Sandusky hopes his team gets out of facing players like Cummins and Greene, who will head to their third straight 1B state title game next week.
"We're technically a little bit young," said Sandusky of his team, which lists only six seniors on its roster. "We've got a strong junior class coming back. We'll see if they want to learn from this and take it to the next step and be here the last week of the season next year."
Reach David Rasbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2286.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.