South Delta at Squalicum
Time: 5 p.m. Friday
Site: Civic Stadium
Sun Devils update: South Delta opened the season with a 35-34 victory over Tacoma Foss on Aug. 31. Senior quarterback Michael Calvert is the one to watch, as last week he was selected to represent Team Canada at the 2018 International Bowl against the United States. Andrew Kraft, Morgan Wolsey and Jacob Kirk are expected to be the impact players on defense.
Storm update: Squalicum senior Triston Smith picked up right where he left off last season, rushing for 300 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries (10.7 average) to help carry the sixth-ranked Storm to a 31-15 victory over Gig Harbor Friday. Quarterback Spencer Lloyd also had an impressive night, passing for 147 yards and rushing for 64 yards and two scores.
Key to the game: With a number of new faces stepping in this year, it’s important that the Storm continues to grow and improve as it prepares for the start of 3A Wesco North play.
Player to watch: Many of the new faces are at receiver, and JaLique Martin showed he might emerge as a top target, snatching a team-high six passes for 79 yards in Squalicum’s Week 1 win. He stands second in Whatcom County in receiving yardage.
Prediction: Squalicum 35-7.
Meridian at Blaine
Time: 7 p.m. Friday
Site: Blaine High School
Trojans update: No. 10 Meridian broke a halftime tie to grab a 20-14 victory at Anacortes in Week 1 Friday. Eastern Washington commit Simon Burkett came out hot, throwing for 23- and 16-yard touchdowns to Dawson Logan and Bryce Vandenhaak, respectively, and running the ball in from a yard out for the Trojans’ winning score.
Blaine update: Blaine opened the season with a 45-6 loss at Nooksack Valley Friday. Oscar Caridad led the Borderites offensively, rushing for 73 yards and his team’s only touchdown on seven carries. Quarterback Cam Ellis threw for 65 yards but was intercepted three times in his first start, while the defense allowed 336 yards of total offense.
Key to the game: The Blaine secondary will be tested for the second straight week. Casey Bauman, another NCAA Division I FCS commit, touched them for 227 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, and the Borderites would like to knock those numbers down this week.
Player to watch: In addition to the nice performance by Caridad in Week 1, Jacob Westfall proved to be a valuable second option out of the backfield for the Borderites, rushing for 54 yards and 12 carries.
Prediction: Meridian 27-20.
Nooksack Valley at Granite Falls
Time: 7 p.m. Friday
Site: Granite Falls High School
Pioneers update: No. 9 Nooksack Valley looked strong in a season-opening 45-6 victory over Blaine Friday. Senior Casey Bauman passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to Jordan Veening (6 catches, 72 yards). Evan Neitling paced a Pioneers rushing attack that totaled 180 yards and four TDs by rushing for 65 yards and two touchdowns. Tre Silva and Austin O’Brien also rushed for scores in the game.
Tigers update: Granite Falls opened the season with a 21-14 loss to Shorewood. Daylin Pierce had eight receptions for 172 yards in the game, while Camden Landrun scored on runs of 8 and 6 yards. The Tigers went 4-6 last year and lost to Lynden in the 2A Northwest District playoffs.
Key to the game: Nooksack Valley will have to continue to find play makers it can lean on, as it learned this week that Silva will likely be lost for the season with a broken ankle he suffered in Friday’s game.
Player to watch: Nooksack Valley’s Baylor Galley showed a propensity for big plays rushing with 14 yards on his only carry of the game and collecting two catches for 54 yards. He also was effective in the Pioneers’ secondary.
Prediction: Nooksack Valley 48-6.
Lynden at Ferndale
Time: 7 p.m. Friday
Site: Ferndale High School
Lions update: Second-ranked Lynden opened the season with a 38-7 victory over Terry Fox Secondary Friday. The Lions starting defense did not allow a score, while Gage Bates returned an interception for a touchdown. Brock Heppner also looked good in his first start at quarterback, passing for 157 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 17 yards and another score. Blake Silves had five catches for 63 yards, while Trevin Melendez rushed for 56 yards and a TD.
Golden Eagles update: No. 4 Ferndale also beat a Canadian school in Week 1, topping Vancouver College 49-12 Friday. Cole Semu led the way, rushing for 92 yards and four touchdowns on 10 carries and returning a punt for another score. Ferndale only needed to pass for 5 yards, as the Golden Eagles averaged 6.9 yards and scored six touchdowns on 38 carries. Gabe Zwade rushed for 27 yards and a score, while Jacob Broselle rushed for 33 yards and a TD.
Key to the game: Ferndale won last year’s meeting 27-20 at Lynden. With each team dispatching a Canadian opponent in Week 1, this figures to be their first real test of the season. Both teams have high hopes for 2017.
Player to watch: Ferndale’s Geirean Hatchett returned on both lines after earning second-team All-Wesco North honors on offense last year as a freshman. He’ll play a big role in deciding which team is more physical.
Prediction: Ferndale 24-20.
Neah Bay at Lummi
Time: 7 p.m. Friday
Site: Lummi Nation School
Red Devils update: No. 5 Neah Bay suffered a 21-6 loss to Chimacum, the team’s first loss since suffering a 36-30 Week 2 setback against Lummi in 2016. Logan Halttunnen returned the opening kickoff 90 yards against the Cowboys for the Red Devils’ only points. Neah Bay managed just 20 yards rushing and 66 passing and committed four turnovers in the loss to Chimacum.
Blackhawks update: Second-ranked Lummi picked up a forfeit victory over Seattle Lutheran in Week 1. The Blackhawks are trying to replace six two-way starters from 2016, when the team reached the state playoffs for the 13th straight year and the state semifinals for the third straight season and the fifth time in six years.
Key to the game: For a team looking to replace a bunch of players, a Week 1 forfeit is not exactly what you want to see, especially with back-to-back games against two of the tougher teams in the state waiting in Weeks 2 and 3. Lummi’s new faces will have to learn on the job.
Player to watch: Quarterback/linebacker Dashawn Lawrence is one of the Blackhawks’ few returning starters, as he passed for 1,179 yards and 20 TDs in 2016. He’ll need to lead the way for teammates with expanded roles this year.
Prediction: Lummi 30-24.
Mount Baker at Clarence Fulton
Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Mountaineers update: No. 3 Mount Baker opened the season with an impressive 49-13 win over Roosevelt Friday. Defense played a big role for the Mountaineers, as they held off several Rough Rider drives inside their own 30. Kaleb Bass had a nice night, passing for 149 yards and two TDs, both of which went to Thomas Barbo, who had 108 yards and five catches. Four Baker running backs surpassed 50 yards rushing.
Maroons update: Fulton advanced to the “AA” playoffs in British Columbia last year, but lost to Windsor 44-31. The Mountaineers are replacing Kelowna on their schedule with the Maroons.
Key to the game: According to googlemaps.com, Vernon is four hours and 14 minutes away (244 miles) from Deming, as it located north and east of Kelowna. Mount Baker has got to find a way to avoid bus fatigue.
Player to watch: Carson Brandland led the Mount Baker rushing attack with 98 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries (14.0 average), as the Mountaineers averaged 11.5 yards on 30 carries and scored five TDs on the ground.
Prediction: Mount Baker 38-6.
Shorewood at Bellingham
Time: 8 p.m. Friday
Site: Civic Stadium
Thunderbirds update: Shorewood opened with a 21-14 victory over Granite Falls on Friday. The Thunderbirds got 102 yards and a touchdown rushing from Robert Banks in the game, while Jordan Kings caught a 6-yards TD pass from Skylar Hammer, who also had a 1-yard scoring run. Bellingham won a Week 2 meeting last year 21-17.
Red Raiders update: Bellingham dropped a defensive slug fest at Lynden Christian 7-0 Friday. Obviously, the Red Raiders’ defense shined, allowing just 122 total yards on 70 offensive snaps before LC scored late to claim the win. Bellingham’s offense had just as much trouble, as it managed 217 yards of total offense, including just 22 yards on 27 rushing attempts.
Key to the game: The Red Raiders have got to do a better job up front on offense. Coach Ted Flint said his team had difficulties blocking the Lyncs front seven to allow it to get things going offensively and allowed seven sacks.
Player to watch: Though he often didn’t have much time, as the seven sacks for 40 yards would suggest, Bellingham’s Nick Knutson did manage to throw for 195 yards against LC, hitting 16 of 29 passes and being intercepted once.
Prediction: Bellingham 24-14.