It appears Squalicum still has some things to figure out on defense two weeks after allowing 70 points to Canadian school South Delta. The Storm allowed the game’s first 20 points and couldn’t dig itself out in a shocking 36-28 3A Wesco North loss to previously winless Stanwood Saturday at Civic Stadium.
For No. 7 Squalicum, this is its first loss in its two seasons in the 3A Wesco North. The Storm hasn’t lost a regular season game since a 30-7 Sept. 26, 2014, loss to Sedro-Woolley when Squalicum was a member of the 2A Northwest Conference.
Squalicum attempted to get its passing game going early Saturday with junior quarterback Spencer Lloyd, but Lloyd completed just four of eight first half pass attempts. The Storm also was slowed a pair of failed fourth down conversion attempts.
Stanwood was first to score when Tyler Rich found the end zone on a 26-yard screen pass from Karl DeBoer on a third-and-13 play at the start of the second quarter.
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DeBoer also connected with Bill Wanambisi and Trygve DeBoer for touchdown passes in the second quarter to help put Stanwood up 20-0 with 2:37 left in the half.
From there, Squalicum marched 80 yards on seven plays and got on the scoreboard on a 1-yard scamper by Lloyd with 30 seconds left. It took a 32-yard pass to Devante Powell on third-and-10 to keep the drive alive.
Squalicum forced a three-and-out on Stanwood’s opening possession of the second half, but another failed fourth down conversion ended the Storm’s ensuing drive.
Stanwood took full advantage chewing up five minutes of clock en route to another Karl DeBoer touchdown pass, this time to Kaiser Hezel.
The Spartans utilized relentless gang tackling against the Storm’s smaller running backs. Triston Smith was able to score on a 1-yard run with 35 seconds left in the third quarter, after Ja’Lique Martin made a leaping catch that put the Storm within striking distance.
Despite the slow start, Squalicum continued to rally, as Devante Powell scored from 11 yards out on a pitch play that ended with him diving into the near-side pylon, pulling the Storm to within 27-21 with 5:47 left in the game.
But a crucial third-down conversion by Rich, followed by another first down and a late-hit penalty on the Storm led to a Spartan field goal.
Squalicum answered with a touchdown pass from Lloyd to Schuyler Alton, but the ensuing onside kick attempt went only 8 yards, and Rich ran for a touchdown on the next play to put the game away.