Lummi at Neah Bay
Time: 5 p.m.
Site: Neah Bay High School
Blackhawks update: After an impressive 68-22 victory over Seattle Lutheran last week, Lummi has its eyes set on Neah Bay, a formidable rival who it beat last year in the 1B state semifinals. The Blackhawks will rely heavily on the Borsey twins – Raven and Free. Raven racked up three touchdowns last week, while Free totaled 193 yards.
Red Devils update: Neah Bay flourished in its opener, crushing Chimacum 52-6. The Red Devils have the fire power to keep up with the Blackhawks with quarterback Ben Greene and running back Cole Svec. Greene threw for 170 yards and two touchdowns last week, while Svec rushed for 175 yards and a touchdown.
Key to the game: In its win in last year’s semifinal, which ended a nine-game losing streak, the Blackhawks pitched a shutout through the game’s first three quarters. A similar effort Friday would go a long way toward helping Lummi start its own winning streak.
Player to watch: Free Borsey was a dual threat last week. He’ll get another opportunity to show his versatility this week, and will have to play well to keep up with the rival Red Devils.
Herald prediction: Lummi 52-48
Blaine at Meridian
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Meridian High School
Borderites update: Blaine is feeling good after a 35-21 victory over Nooksack Valley. The Borderites dug themselves out of a 21-7 deficit with wide receiver/defensive back Anthony Ball leading the way. Ball hauled in 11 catches for 222 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a key interception in the third quarter, when he plucked the ball from a Nooksack Valley receiver’s hands.
Trojans update: Meridian handled Anacortes last week, beating the Seahawks 33-7. The Trojans relied heavily on their running game with 38 carries for 228 yards , leaning on a trio of rushers who each gained more than 50 yards. Defensively, Meridian allowed 108 total yards and didn’t allow Anacortes’ passing game to develop, holding the Seahawks to minus-17 passing yards.
Key to the game: The Borderites must stop the Trojans’ rushing attack, and they can’t just focus on one rusher. Their run defense wasn’t tested much last week against a Nooksack Valley team that passed heavily, but they’ll have to be prepared for a physical game up front.
Player to watch: Meridian’s Bryce Vandenhaak played a vital role for the Trojans defense last week when he returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown. He also rushed for 22 yards and could get more opportunities this week.
Herald prediction: Meridian 21-17
Bellingham at Shorewood
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Shoreline Stadium
Red Raiders update: Bellingham opened with a 21-6 win against 1A foe Lynden Christian. This week they face a 3A opponent. The Red Raiders seem ready for it after holding Lynden Christian to 101 yards. Bellingham’s offense was led by quarterback Nick Knutson, who threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns.
Thunderbirds update: Shorewood fell in its season opener to Granite Falls 34-14 last week. Shorewood went winless in 2015 and struggling against a 2A opponent won’t bode well for this season.
Key to the game: The most pleasant surprise last week for Bellingham against Lynden Christian was its defense, as it held the Lyncs to 101 yards and six points. Another strong defensive performance could help make the Red Raiders 2-0.
Player to watch: Bellingham running back Dakota Johanson will carry the ball often after rushing 17 times last week for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Herald prediction: Bellingham 35-12
Ferndale at Lynden
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Lynden High School
Golden Eagles update: After cruising against Vancouver (B.C.) College 41-0 last week, Ferndale takes on its biggest rival. The Golden Eagles ran the ball 33 times for 298 yards last week, including 263 from Justice Powell and Cole Semu. Defensively, the Golden Eagles gave up 239 yards, forced two fumbles and made an interception.
Lions update: Lynden opened with a solid 42-21 win against Terry Fox (B.C.) Secondary. The Lions forced four turnovers and allowed only 48 yards through the air. The Lynden offense racked up 381 yards and 21 first downs, including 220 yards on 30 rush attempts. Quarterback Jacob Hommes threw for two touchdowns and 161 yards.
Key to the game: Lynden struggled to stop the run against Terry Fox Secondary. The Lions allowed 238 rushing yards. They will have to bottle up Ferndale’s rushing attack on Friday for a chance to win this game.
Player to watch: Hommes was supposed to split time at quarterback last week, but James Marsh sat out injured. The Lions were able to rely on Hommes, who supplied four total touchdowns.
Herald prediction: Lynden 28-23
Sehome at Squalicum
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Civic Stadium
Mariners update: Sehome struggled in its opener against Mountlake Terrace, losing 49-6. This week won’t be any easier as the Mariners will play crosstown rival and new 3A opponent, Squalicum. Last week the Mariners only score came off a 3-yard pass from Nic Roger to Marcus Montag. Montag finished with four catches for 69 yards, and Anton Arena rushed for 82 yards on 19 carries.
Storm update: Squalicum’s success carried over from 2015 with an impressive 40-28 victory over Gig Harbor in its season opener. The Storm ran for 332 yards, and had two rushers – TristonSmith and Ben Peterson – surpass 150 yards. The Storm’s defense was also able to force five turnovers against a talented Gig Harbor squad, including a couple at crucial points in the game.
Key to the game: For Sehome to have a chance, it will have to stop the Storm’s impressive rushing game while also cleaning up its own offense. Sehome amassed just 171 yards of offense last week.
Player to watch: Smith had 19 carries for 150 yards last week against Gig Harbor. He’ll face a team that allowed 49 points last week.
Herald prediction: Squalicum 52-14
Kelowna (B.C.) at Mount Baker
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Mount Baker High School
Owls update: Not much is known about this Canadian squad, but Mount Baker hasn’t faced a Canadian team in the past decade.
Mountaineers update: Mount Baker edged 3A Roosevelt 38-35 last week. The Mountaineers accumulated 302 rushing yards, with Carson Engholm gaining 108 yards on 20 carries. Quarterback Kaleb Bass threw for three touchdowns while completing 10 of 14 passes. Thomas Barbo provided another spark at receiver, snagging four catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Key to the game: Cramps hampered Mount Baker in Week 1. Getting the proper stretching and hydration to help prevent a recurrence this week could help a lot.
Player to watch: Mount Baker running back Jed Schleimer carried the rushing attack with 13 carries for 139 yards and three touchdowns before developing some second-half cramping issues. He’ll try to surpass 100 yards for a ninth consecutive.
Herald prediction: Mount Baker 35-13
Granite Falls at Nooksack Valley
Time: 7 p.m.
Tigers update: Granite Falls blasted Shorewood 33-14 last week. The Tigers’ win matches their total from last season when they finished 1-9. Two of those losses were against current Northwest Conference teams Bellingham and Blaine.
Pioneers update: After a difficult 35-21 loss to Blaine, Nooksack Valley is hoping to rebound. In their season opener, the Pioneers raced to a quick start, scoring 14 points on their first two drives. But the offense began to sputter after that, and the defense’s confidence started to wane. Kyle Veldman caught eight passes for 75 yards last week.
Key to the game: The Pioneers will want to keep their offense crisp. After scoring twice on their first two drives last week and then only scoring seven points the rest of the game, Nooksack Valley must stay consistent to win.
Player to watch: Nooksack Valley’s Casey Bauman finished with 255 yards and threw a touchdown pass, as well as an interception, in the Pioneers’ pass-happy offense.
Herald prediction: Nooksack Valley 35-31
Cascade Christian at Lynden Christian
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Lynden Christian School
Cougars update: Cascade Christian won its opener against Orting last week 32-14. Quarterback Parker Johnson threw for three touchdowns, while the Cougars added two rushing touchdowns. Last season the Cougars finished 8-2 and lost in the first round of the 2A State Playoffs. They also beat Nooksack Valley 42-8 in Week 3.
Lyncs update: Lynden Christian dropped its season opener, losing 21-6 to Bellingham. The Lyncs couldn’t move the ball effectively, mustering only 101 yards and six points. David Bladies rushed for 26 yards on nine carries, while Tyson Cline caught four passes for 20 yards. Defensively the Lyncs didn’t play badly, but did allow 185 yards through the air.
Key to the game: To have a shot, the Lyncs must move the ball. They’ll have to find a quarterback who can lead the offense. Colby Flint and Ty Van Dyken combined for 32 passing yards last week.
Player to watch: Running back Jordan Riddle might be the answer to the Lyncs’ offensive woes. He ran for 33 yards last week on nine carries and scored the Lyncs’ only touchdown.
Herald prediction: Cascade Christian 28-13