Consider Squalicum football’s 2013 performance in the city rivalry an aberration not the start of a trend.
The Storm are once again city champions after a 52-6 blowout Northwest Conference win over Sehome on Friday, Oct. 17, at Civic Stadium.
Whether it was for redemption of last year’s 48-21 loss, or just for plain pride, Squalicum took back a title that was the Storm’s for seven years before Sehome won last year.
“It was phenomenal to come out here and perform the way we did,” Squalicum’s Garrett Sorenson said. “It’s bragging rights for the year.”
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When Sehome’s first drive sputtered out as it neared midfield, the first of many Mariners’ disasters struck. A bad snap forced punter Gabriel Weight to fall on it, giving Squalicum the ball at the Sehome 28-yard line.
It took only one play for Christian Jorgensen and the Squalicum offense to capitalize, as the senior quarterback found Jake Burns for a 28-yard TD. It was the first of two Jorgensen touchdown throws. He later found Ben Peterson for 20 yards to score and make it 14-0.
It would be all Squalicum needed on the night, as Sehome was only able to muster six points from a four-yard Aaron Nichols pass to Gabriel Weight in the fourth quarter.
If every possible thing could go right for Squalicum, it did, and if every possible thing could go wrong for Sehome, it did.
“Moving forward this will be a tough pill to swallow,” Sehome coach Bob Norvell said. “It was ugly.”
The game even had a perfect ending for the Storm.
With just a minute remaining in the game, Sehome quarterback Gavin Kaepernick’s pass was intercepted by Sorenson, who promptly took it to the house, giving the Storm fans one last thing to celebrate and an awesome birthday present for the now 16-year-old Sorenson.
“It was unreal,” Sorenson said. “It was amazing.”
Sorenson’s pick-six was just one of many defensive plays for the Storm, which also capitalized on a blocked punt in the third quarter, recovering in the end zone to make it 42-0 just two minutes into the second half.
The Storm held the Mariners to just 123 total yards in the game, benefiting from a battered and bruised Taylor Rapp, who took a hard hit early in the game and only ran the ball five times.
Rapp was averaging 7.5 yards per carry going into the game but only had 13 yards on his five carries Friday.
“Our guys came out dialed in. It was great to see them focused,” Squalicum coach Nick Lucey said. “They shut the door. Offensively, we didn’t quite get going until a little later. It was awesome to see our defense just get after it.”
While the Storm offense wasn’t the best it’s been, producing only 309 total yards, it didn’t have to be.
What Lucey’s Storm did was capitalize on Sehome mistakes early, something Lucey admits will come in handy in a tight 2A playoff race.
“Anytime you play a good team, you’re going to have to capitalize on the mistakes they make,” Lucey said. “We seized upon the ones they did make and they usually don’t make many. They’re a good team.”
Nick Manchester was the offensive star for the Storm. The running back ran for 92 yards on 11 carries and scored twice — both in the second quarter.
Damek Mitchell also got a touchdown on a 61-yard run on the first play from scrimmage in the second half to make it 35-0 and effectively put Sehome out of reach.
Squalicum moves to 3-2 in NWC play, 5-2 overall, trailing only Lynden and Sedro-Woolley in the 2A race. The Storm will play Blaine on Friday, Oct. 24, at Blaine.
The Mariners have now lost four straight, dropping to 1-4 in conference, 2-5 overall. They get Ferndale Friday, Oct. 24, at Civic Stadium.
Squal — Jake Burns 28 pass from Christian Jorgensen (Quinn Carpenter kick)
Squal — Ben Peterson 20 pass from Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
Squal — Nick Manchester 10 run (Carpenter kick)
Squal — Nick Manchester 2 run (Carpenter kick)
Squal — Damek Mitchell 61 run (Carpenter kick)
Squal — Carpenter 0 punt block recovery (Carpenter kick)
Squal — Carpenter 19 FG
Sehome — Gabriel Weight 4 pass from Aaron Nichols (kick fail)
Squal — Garrett Sorenson 49 interception return
RUSHING — Sehome: Taylor Rapp 5-13, Marcus Montag 1-(-1), Tyler Hruby 3-12, Aaron Nichols 8-(-6), Kevin Sun 1-(-4), Daton Nestlebush 8-19, Gunnar Nelson 1-9. Squalicum: Nick Manchester 11-92, Ben Peterson 2-8, Christian Jorgensen 1-(-11), Jordan Campbell 4-12, Damek Mitchell 2-62, Carlos Hernandez 2-1, Will Nickelson 2-12, Bunji McLeod 1-2.
PASSING — Sehome: Aaron Nichols 5-15-1-80, Gavin Kaepernick 1-2-1-80. Squalicum: 6-11-1-131.
RECEIVING — Sehome: Marcus Montag 2-45, Taylor Rapp 1-9, Gabriel Weight 1-22, Gunnar Nelson 1-4, Kevin Sun 1-1. Squalicum: Jake Burns 1-28, Nick Manchester 1-0, Ben Peterson 2-37, Coleman Schwab 1-8, Damek Mitchell 1-58.
Credit for Sehome's touchdown corrected to Weight on Oct. 20, 2014.