Hard to believe we’re already entering Week 3 of the 2016 high school football season, which means the start of league play for teams in the 2A Northwest Conference and many in the 3A Wesco North Division. Here’s a look at the power rankings for Whatcom County’s 11-man teams heading into Friday, Sept. 16:
1. Squalicum (1)
The Storm has cruised through its first two non-league games, but now it’s time to see how it will handle playing in the 3A Wesco North with Friday’s game against Marysville-Pilchuck. Quarterback Garrett Sorenson is questionable with a shoulder injury, but backups proved effective last week against Sehome.
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2. Ferndale (3)
The Golden Eagles play one more non-league game before diving into the 3A Wesco North next week. Last week’s win against rival Lynden was quite impressive, and you know Ferndale wants to keep the positive momentum rolling when it tackles a 4A opponent in South Kitsap.
3. Mount Baker (2)
The Mountaineers made quick and easy work of a Canadian opponent last week. Things might be a little tougher this week with a game against Port Townsend, as Mount Baker gets its final tune up before opening 1A NWC play next week against Nooksack Valley.
4. Blaine (6)
The Borderites have won a pair of shootouts over 1A NWC opponents to open the season, but the real test begins now. They open 2A NWC play against powerful Sedro-Woolley, and it’s time for Blaine to show if it can be a real contender this year.
5. Lynden (4)
The Lions played Ferndale tough last week but struggled to get their passing game going against the Golden Eagles. Now the games start to get important, as Lynden opens 2A NWC play with a game against a Bellingham squad eager to prove it has grown in two years away from the league.
6. Bellingham (7)
The Red Raiders are off to their first 2-0 start since 2007, and after two years of playing an independent schedule, Bellingham returns to the always tough 2A NWC. Things won’t be easy, as Bellingham’s first league game in three years comes against Lynden.
7. Meridian (5)
The Trojans went toe-to-toe with Blaine in a 45-35 non-league loss, and things won’t get any easier this week with a trip south to face Cascade Christian, which is just outside the Class 1A top 10. Big plays ended up burning Meridian against Blaine, so look for the defense to step up this week.
8. Nooksack Valley (8)
The Pioneers got their first win of the season in impressive fashion, beating Granite Falls 46-21. Quarterback Casey Bauman proved he is one of the top quarterbacks in the county with 355 yards and three touchdowns through the air and rushing for another.
9. Lynden Christian (9)
The Lyncs made a valiant fourth-quarter comeback last week, but still fell 28-19 to Cascade Christian. LC will look look to build off that late momentum Saturday against Cashmere in its final tune up before opening 1A NWC play at Meridian.
10. Sehome (10)
The Mariners have allowed 49 points in each of their first two games and have countered with only six. They get the honor this week of welcoming the 2A NWC’s newest member, Lakewood – another 0-2 team struggling to keep opponents off the scoreboard