CLASS 3A QUARTERFINAL
FRANKLIN PIERCE (11-0) AT FERNDALE (11-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Site: Civic Stadium
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Cardinals update: Franklin Pierce beat Nathan Hale 26-3 in the first round of the state tournament to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1982, when it fell to Arlington in the 3A state title game. The Cardinals trailed at halftime of last week’s game, but standout senior quarterback Erich Armstrong led them back. Armstrong finished 12 for 24 with 229 yards passing and a touchdown and rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He has passed for 2,102 yards this year, spreading the ball out among five receivers. The Cardinals have averaged scoring 40.4 points per game this season while limiting opponents to 9.5.
Golden Eagles update: Ferndale beat Northwest Conference foe Mount Vernon 14-0 for its second victory over the Bulldogs in two weeks in the first round of the 3A playoffs. The Golden Eagles’ defense shined, limiting Mount Vernon to 120 yards of total offense and allowing the Bulldogs inside the 20-yard line only once. Max Hannah led Ferndale offensively, rushing for 100 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Hannah is second on the team with 500 yards and is one of five Ferndale backs that have rushed for 299 or more yards this season, joining Casey Locker (686), Jordan Crim (463), Jordan Finkbonner (361) and Spencer Hannah (299).
Key to the game: The Ferndale secondary is going to be tested by Armstrong, who has passed for 29 touchdowns this season and rushed for eight more. The Golden Eagles’ ability to stop him could determine the outcome this game between unbeatens. It would be wise for Ferndale to try to control the clock with its running game, keeping Armstrong and the high-powered Cardinals offense off the field. The winner of the game moves on to face the winner of the Kennewick-Skyline game in the semifinals.
CLASS 2A QUARTERFINAL
LYNDEN (9-2) AT FIFE (9-2)
Time: 7 p.m. Saturday
Site: Curtis High School, Tacoma
Directions to the game: Take Interstate 5 south to Tacoma; merge onto Highway 16 West via exit 132. Take the Orchard Street exit toward South 19th Street West. Take a right on South Orchard Street and a right on 19th Street West. Turn left on Bridgeport Way West, then Right on 40th Street West. The high school is at 8425 40th St., West University Place.
Fife update: The Trojans are making their second straight trip to the state tournament, but it’s the first time since 1988 that Fife has advanced to the second round. The Trojans already dumped a Northwest Conference school to get to this point, beating Blaine 27-7 last week. Fife is led by running back Tyler Cardin, a speedy senior with nearly 2,000 yards rushing this season. He also has 40 touchdowns.
Lynden update: The Lions are making their fifth trip to the state quarterfinals in the past seven years and haven’t lost in this round over that span. The defending state champions knocked off Centralia last week on the road, using an effective running game and stout defense. Quarterback Tate Dallas carried most of the load, but the Lions won’t have to rely on him to advance. Lynden’s defense has been very good over the last month, allowing just 19 points in its past four games.
Key to the game: Even more than stopping Fife’s running game, Lynden coach Curt Kramme thinks the most important thing for his team in this game is to play hard. When the Lions have given less than maximum effort they’ve struggled, and Kramme doesn’t want them to let a chance slip away to advance to the semifinals and face the Bellingham-Prosser winner.
CLASS 2A QUARTERFINAL
PROSSER (11-0) AT BELLINGHAM (7-4)
Time: 2 p.m. Saturday
Site: Everett Memorial Stadium
Directions to the game: Take Interstate 5 south to the Broadway/41st Street exit (192). Follow the road until it turns into Broadway. Go through the stoplight to 41st Street. The stadium is on 38th Street.
Mustangs update: Once again Prosser has rolled through the competition this season, putting together a perfect 11-0 record going into its quarterfinal contest with Bellingham. The Mustangs’ high-powered offense is paced by quarterback Jordan Durbin, running back Drake Washington and wide receiver and Central Washington Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player Cody Bruns. Durbin has thrown for more than 3,000 yards and 50 touchdowns, with Bruns and Kirby Moore accounting for 41 of those scores. Washington moved past the 1,000-yard rushing mark in last week’s 40-21 win over Clarkston.
Red Raiders update: Bellingham made the most of its second chance, beating Mark Morris 23-13 in the opening round of the state tournament on Tuesday in Everett. Prosser probably won’t be as easy. Bellingham has played the pass well this season, but preparing for the Mustangs’ offense with a short week of practice will be a challenge. It’s also been an emotional two weeks for the Red Raiders, and that’s sure to catch up to them at some point. Bellingham has seen its season end, then revived after Archbishop Murphy was forced to forfeit its season. Now the Red Raiders have to capture lightning and maybe get a little lucky again.
Key to the game: It’s a cliché to say, but Bellingham needs to get a bend-but-don’t-break performance from its defense and control the ball on offense. The more time the Red Raiders can keep the ball away from Prosser’s offense, the better chance they will have.
CLASS 1A QUARTERFINAL
MERIDIAN (11-0) AT MONTESANO (9-2)
Time: 7 p.m. Saturday
Site: Tumwater Stadium
Directions to the game: Take Interstate 5 south to exit 101 (Tumwater Boulevard Southwest). Head east on Tumwater Boulevard. Take the first left on Linderson Way Southwest. Take the second right on Israel Road Southwest. The stadium is located at 700 Israel Road Southwest in Tumwater.
Trojans update: Meridian shut out Castle Rock 35-0 in the first round of the 1A playoffs, extending the Trojans’ win streak to a state-best 25 straight games. Sean Hurlbut rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, while Andrei Lintz chipped in 55 yards and a TD and Bodean Norris had 53 yards. Quarterback Max Crook passed for 165 yards and two TDs. The Meridian defense limited Castle Rock to 205 total yards of offense and forced four interceptions. Hurlbut and Lintz have starred for the Trojans. Hurlbut has 1,965 yards of total offense and 28 touchdowns, while Lintz has accounted for 987 yards and 10 TDs.
Bulldogs update: Montesano beat Orting 28-20 at Tumwater Stadium in the first round of the 1A playoffs. The Bulldogs, who won the Evergreen Division of the Southwest Conference and have won seven straight, are looking to get back to the semifinals for the second straight year after losing to Connell last year. Montesano is a run-first team, with Brent Jones totaling 1,302 yards and 16 touchdowns in 10 games. Receiver Cody Martin is the team’s leading receiver with 32 receptions for 538 yards. Tyler Frye, who is expected to be an all-state selection at linebacker, leads the Bulldogs on defense.
Key to the game: With each team having a standout running back, it is up to the defenses to find a way to slow them down. This will be the sixth playoff meeting between the two schools. Meridian owns a 4-1 advantage in the previous five, but Montesano won the last meeting 27-20 in the 2004 Class 2A playoffs at Civic Stadium. The winner of the game moves on to face the winner of the Cashmere-Connell game in the semifinals.
CLASS 1B QUARTERFINAL
LAKE QUINAULT (8-3) AT LUMMI (9-1)
Time: 2 p.m. Saturday
Site: Civic Stadium
Elks update: After winning a three-team mini-playoff with Wishkah Valley and Neah Bay, Lake Quinault squeaked past Highland Christian 38-34 in last week’s state play-in game. The Elks are led by running back Josh Peterson, who has gained more than 1,200 yards this season. Harry Peterson (no relation) provides a second threat in the backfield. Though quarterback Michael Mayton doesn’t pass much, he can be dangerous when asked to do so. The Elks have won five straight since he took over under center. Before that, the Elks (8-3) suffered three straight losses, started by a 54-38 loss to Lummi on Sept 22.
Blackhawks update: One week after tying the national record for points scored in a game with its 118-72 win at Crescent, the Blackhawks received a bye for claiming the Pacific Coast League championship and the No. 1 seed into the state playoffs. The Blackhawks have done a good job of spreading the ball around to a number of players. Tony Washington leads the team in rushing with 598 yards and 11 TDs on 54 carries. Gale Jefferson is the leading receiver with 44 receptions for 963 yards and 11 touchdowns, but Ray Jefferson also has 26 catches for 513 yards and nine TDs. Quarterbacks Dustin Tom and Isaac Finkbonner have each done a good job of leading the offense.
Key to the game: With so many offensive weapons, can anybody slow down the Blackhawks? Lummi is averaging 63.4 points per game — more than double the 29.4 per they are allowing opponents. Lake Quinault actually faired better than most against the Blackhawks, as they were one of only three teams to hold Lummi to less than 55 points. They’ll need more of the same Saturday. The winner moves on to face the winner of the Almira-Coulee-Hartline/Touchet game in the semifinals.