BELLINGHAM - Call it Friday Night Lights Out for opponents of the Sehome-Bellingham Warriors.
Sehome-Bellingham (5-0 in the Washington High School Boys' Lacrosse Association Division I) is ranked No. 10 in the state and quite possibly climbing higher - perhaps a lot higher.
The dynamic way Sehome-Bellingham played in its 17-1 win over the Division II North County Cavaliers (1-2) on Friday night, April 11, at Civic Stadium was more than a little impressive, especially after the Cavaliers could not have proved more stubborn in the second quarter.
The Warriors earned a 4-0 lead in the opening quarter, but the Cavaliers - including many athletes from Lynden - were downright determined to make a game of it, shutting out Sehome-Bellingham in the second period.
"This is our 18th meeting since 2006, but we have won only three games," said North County coach Peter White, whose dream is to become consistently competitive with the Warriors, who are coached by his best friend, fellow Lynden resident Tyler Farrar.
Sehome-Bellingham erupted with nine goals in the third quarter but the teams grinded on in a physical match, eschewing what could have been a running clock in the fourth quarter.
The guys on both teams showed they treasure every minute in lacrosse. A running clock is the last thing either team needs.
No fewer than eight players got in on either or both goals and assists for Sehome-Bellingham, which makes no bones about its dream of a solid showing in the Division I state playoffs in the second half of May.
The third quarter showed just how explosive lacrosse can be, not to mention extremely quick and physical as an intriguing combination of soccer, basketball and hockey.
Bellingham sophomore Nathaniel Heritage, the team's leading scorer with 15 goals, made it 5-1 with a goal assisted by Adam Estrada 2 minutes and 21 seconds into the third quarter. Heritage came off a three-goal, one-assist performance earlier in the week in a 7-5 win over Everett.
That, though, was only the start of the explosion.
Mark Gannon, another season-long scoring standout, scored three consecutive goals on assists by Heritage, John Banuelos, and Zachary Lorenz. Gannon's goals came in a span of only 2 minutes and 14 seconds, giving the Warriors a 9-1 bulge.
"I was very pleased with how we adjusted in the second half," said Farrar, whose Sehome-Bellingham team now has 67 goals scored against 27 allowed in the Warriors' five wins, all lopsided except for the win over Everett. "We're off to as good a start for the season as I could have expected."
The Cavaliers had their highlights, not to mention a feisty performance. Blake Browning, a junior captain from Lynden, scored their goal on a classic unassisted power shot late in the second quarter.
Chance Clymer, a talented Sehome senior who looks more like a college linebacker, finished with four goals in a dominating performance.
"I'm planning to play for Western's club team," said Clymer, a team captain who finished with four goals, as did Gannon an Boyd. Heritage, one of the state's most promising younger players, turned in three goals and two assists. "I've been playing lacrosse pretty much my whole life and I really love it."
Warriors goalkeeper Andrew Hoeman, a Sehome senior and captain, is also excited over his opportunity to play college lacrosse.
"I'll be playing Division II at Rollins College (near Orlando) in Florida," he said. "I used to play a lot of other sports, but I just fell in love with lacrosse and now I'm totally devoted to it."
Sehome-Bellingham got goals from Zachary Lorenz, who also had three assists, and from Alyis Clark, who scored the game's first goal on an unassisted maneuver.
Garrett Sorenson, a freshman from Squalicum, led the Warriors with seven ground ball pickups. Sam Mumford, a junior at Lynden Christian, led the Cavaliers with six pickups.
In all, there are 56 players on the two varsity and junior varsity rosters combined, so, as both coaches agree, there were a whole lot of winners Friday regardless of the score, since they love lacrosse so much.