Burlington-Edison jumped all over Ferndale’s football team early to earn a 28-6 Northwest Conference victory on Friday, Sept. 26, at Ferndale High School.
The Tigers’ defense was the difference throughout the game, holding Ferndale’s NWC-leading rusher Marcus Nightingale to just 63 yards on 18 carries. The Golden Eagles were also unable to find the end zone until the waning moments of the game.
Burlington-Edison grabbed the momentum early, forcing a punt on Ferndale’s first possession. The punt was received by the Tigers’ Tavion Swanson, who swerved around defenders and sped past the last few for a 63-yard touchdown.
Ferndale had a bit more success on its next drive, as Nightingale and Daniel Jones combined for 28 yards on seven carries to start the drive. Jones was taken down for a 4-yard loss on the eighth play, setting up a passing situation on 2nd-and-14 from the Burlington-Edison 35.
Ferndale quarterback Kyler Schemstad looked to his right for a screen to a receiver, but Tiger cornerback Timmie Rush jumped the pass for the interception and outran everyone for a 65-yard return for a touchdown.
“We made too many mistakes and let them get the momentum,” Ferndale coach Jamie Plenkovich said after the game.
The Golden Eagles’ offense appeared unfazed, however, as they drove from their own 28 to the Tigers’ 37. Nightingale took the ball three times for almost 10 yards, setting up a fourth-and-inches. Schemstad tried the sneak, but Burlington-Edison’s defensive front was all over him and got the turnover on downs.
“They were just more physical than us,” Schemstad said.
On the Tigers’ second play of the following series, their offense’s first time on the field, quarterback Mason Schwetz dropped back to pass. He rolled left to avoid the rush, then back to the right to avoid it again and launched a 20-yard pass to Curtis Carlson. Carlson was hit hard and lost the ball, which Ferndale was able to pounce on for another shot at the end zone.
Those two plays before the fumble were all the time the Burlington-Edison offense saw before the end of the first quarter.
Ferndale was again able to grind out some yards thanks to a pair of Schemstad keepers. The offense found itself on the 12 with a third-and-two, well within striking distance of the endzone. But again the Tigers’ defense came up big, forcing and recovering a fumble by Jones.
“We had chances to put it away in the first half, but we couldn’t do it,” Plenkovich said.
The Golden Eagles’ defense tried to keep its hopes alive with an interception by cornerback Dante Kelly on the Tigers’ next series that he took to the Burlington-Edison 5-yard line.
The Burlington-Edison defense stood tall again, stuffing Nightingale on the 1-yard line on fourth down to keep the score at 14-0.
The Tigers drove halfway downfield and were forced to punt, and the Golden Eagles fumbled again on their next possession to preserve the Burlington-Edison lead at the half.
Burlington-Edison came out of the half ready to put the game away. On its sixth play of the second half, Schwetz found Rush for a 49-yard touchdown pass, extending the lead to 21-0.
Ferndale punted after three plays on the next drive, and forced a Burlington-Edison punt on the following drive. On that drive, the Golden Eagles keyed in on a way to contain the mobile Schwetz, keeping the defensive ends just outside the pocket.
Both teams fumbled on their next drives, but recovered their own fumbles before being forced to punt. The third quarter ended with the Tigers still maintaining the shutout.
Ferndale fumbled once more, and Burlington-Edison fumbled twice, but each team managed to recover their own mistakes.
Then as Ferndale set up to punt in the middle of the fourth, a bobbled snap was recovered by the Tigers to put their offense on the Ferndale 15. They drove down to the 2-yard line, and Schwetz took a quarterback keeper to the outside edge and in for a touchdown.
With about five minutes to go, Ferndale put in its second-stringers to make a final push toward the endzone.
Cameron Blecha had two rushes for 28 yards, and the Golden Eagles drove from their own 41 to the Burlington-Edison 2-yard line. From there, Dalton Neer took his only carry 2 yards into the end zone to prevent the shutout.
Burlington-Edison’s second-stringers took two kneel downs to seal the 28-7 win for the Tigers.
“It started with them up front,” Plenkovich said. “In the first half we were fine on defense, and we had chances, but we couldn’t finish them.”
Schwetz led the Tigers with seven rushes for 11 yards and a touchdown, and he was 9-for-15 passing for 129 yards with an interception and a touchdown. Rush had five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown to go with his interception return.
Schemstad finished with 41 yards rushing on eight carries, and was 4-for-10 passing for 40 yards with an interception. Jones added 10 carries for 42 yards, and Ben Broselle had four carries for 27 yards.
Ferndale falls to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the NWC. Burlington-Edison improves to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in NWC play.
The Golden Eagles will look to bounce back at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, at Anacortes.
B-E — Tavion Swanson 63 punt return (Nathan Osborn kick)
B-E — Timmie Rush 65 interception return (Osborn kick)
B-E — Rush 49 pass from Mason Schwetz (Osborn kick
B-E — Schwetz 2 run (Osborn kick)
Fern — Dalton Neer 2 run (Osborn kick
Burlington-EdisonFirst downs2725Rushing Att-yards49-23326-72Comp-Att-Int4-10-19-15-1Passing yards40129Penalties-yards4-205-40Fumbles-lost5-33-1
RUSHING — Burlington-Edison: Lorenzo Mationg 8-34, Curtis Carlson 6-20, Mason Schwetz 7-11, Timmie Rush 2-5, Tavian Swanson 1-4, Hunter Anderson 2-(-2). Ferndale: Marcus Nightingale 18-63, Daniel Jones 10-42, Kyler Schemstad 8-41, Cameron Blecha 2-28, Ben Broselle 4-27, Justice Powell 3-13, Joshua Williams 1-10, Cory Slaughter 3-9.
PASSING — Burlington-Edison: Mason Schwetz 9-15-129-1-1. Ferndale: Kyler Schemstad 4-10-40-1-0.
RECEIVING — Burlington-Edison: Timmie Rush 5-87, Hunter Jacobson 1-16, Tavion Swanson 1-12, Terrel Cameron 1-7, Wyatt Jorgensen 1-7. Ferndale: John Weg 1-19, Daniel Jones 1-10, Jacob Kildall 1-7, Marcus Nightingale 1-4.