Squalicum certainly created the chances it needed to walk out of Sedro-Woolley with a win, but the Storm couldn’t take advantage of its opportunities.
Squalicum’s offense couldn’t find a rhythm against a Cubs’ defense that’s been one of the best in the Northwest Conference through three weeks.
And when the Storm did move the ball, which proved rare, it couldn’t finish drives.
In spite of a strong defensive effort for three quarters against Sedro-Woolley’s ground-and-pound, wing-T offense, Squalicum suffered a 30-7 conference loss to the No. 7-ranked Cubs on Friday, Sept. 26, in Sedro-Woolley.
“Our kids battled a physical Sedro-Woolley team,” Storm coach Nick Lucey said. “I think the difference was a couple of situations where we either didn’t seize the opportunity or we made a mistake on a play. ... Sedro is a real good team. They don’t beat themselves.”
Squalicum (2-2, 0-2 NWC 2A/3A), which managed only seven first downs, including two in the second half, finished with 233 yards, but 113 of those yards came on two first-half plays.
Senior quarterback Christian Jorgensen, who completed 11 of 27 passes for 177 yards and three interceptions, struggled finding his wideouts most of the night.
“It seemed like we weren’t quite in a rhythm,” said Lucey, regarding the Storm’s passing attack, “but we’ll get a look at it. It’s tough to make a call right now exactly what it was.”
Squalicum wouldn’t have been in the game for long if it wasn’t for its defense. The Storm allowed back-to-back touchdowns, sandwiched around Squalicum’s only score of the game. But the Storm’s defense for the next two-and-a-half quarters posted a shutout.
Sedro-Woolley opened the game with a nine-play, 70-yard TD drive ending in a Quinn Carpenter 1-yard touchdown.
The Storm on the next possession took advantage of a drive-preserving personal foul on fourth down. Jorgensen hooked up with Ben Peterson for a 53-yard pass, giving Squalicum the ball on the Cubs’ 3-yard line. Jordan Campbell, who led the Storm with 50 yards on 12 carries, punched the ball in to tie the game at 7 with 4:18 to go in the first.
Two plays later, Sedro-Woolley’s Carter Crosby scored his first of two rushing TD’s on a 45-yard run around the left end.
Squalicum’s defense hunkered down after that. It gave up two scores in the final five minutes of the game, but during the second, third and most of the fourth, the defense gave the offense plenty of chances to put points on the board.
Peterson and Coleman Schwab intercepted passes, and Jake Burns and Jack Wendling combined for a huge fourth-and-1 stop deep in Squalicum territory early in the third quarter.
“The leaders just stepped up, and we said, ‘Hey, guys, this is unacceptable. We need to step up and we need to stop them,’” Burns said. “I mean, we just weren’t playing intense. We came back and stopped them as much as we could.”
Squalicum entered halftime trailing 14-7, but disaster struck on the opening kickoff. Damek Mitchell fielded the ball on his own 5 and decided to cut back across the field. In an effort to evade defenders, he ran too far backward and ended up getting tackled in his own endzone for a safety.
It wasn’t the way the Storm were hoping to start the third quarter.
Squalicum was stuck with poor field position the entire second half and never moved the ball into Sedro-Woolley territory.
“I call the plays, and we have to do a better job in the second half,” Lucey said.
Sedro-Woolley added two late scores, one on a Carpenter run from 10 yards out with 5:42 to go in the game, and another on a Crosby TD from 7 yards out with 2:14 to go.
Peterson led the Storm receivers with five catches for 83 yards, and Crosby led Sedro-Woolley’s rushing attack, carrying 17 times for 93 yards.
Squalicum hosts Burlington-Edison next at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, at Civic Stadium.
Reach Andrew Lang at email@example.com or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.
SW — Quinn Carpenter 1 run (Adrian Vasquez kick)
SQ — Jordan Campbell 3 run (Quinn Carpenter kick)
SW — Carter Crosby 45 run (Vasquez kick)
SW — Safety
SW — Carpenter 10 run (Vasquez kick)
SW — Crosby 7 run (Vasquez kick)
RUSHING — Squalicum: Jordan Campbell 12-50, Damek Mitchell 5-8, Christian Jorgensen 3-(-2). Sedro-Woolley: Carter Crosby 17-93, Quinn Carpenter 11-58, Jacob Farrell 7-49, Mason Elms 3-41, Quinten Roppel 3-19, Devin Willard 2-11, Damian McDougle 1-7, Anthony Cann 4-(-6), Bryce Hornbeck 1-(-2), Noah Stroosma 1-4.
PASSING — Squalicum: Christian Jorgensen 11-27-177-3. Sedro-Woolley: Devin Willard 1-6-3-2-2, Carter Crosby 1-1-21-0.
RECEIVING — Squalicum: Ben Peterson 5-83, Coleman Schwab 4-28, Josiah Westbrook 2-66. Sedro-Woolley: Jacob Farrell 1-21, Quinten Roppel 1-3.