Squalicum’s football team just made a statement and the other seven schools in the quarterfinals might want to pay attention.
Christian Jorgensen was remarkably efficient, Josiah Westbrook made highlight reel plays and Damek Mitchell and the Storm front seven shut down Orting in a 45-7 Class 2A state tournament first round victory Friday, Nov. 14, at Orting High School. After becoming the first team in school history to make state, the Storm figured it might as well win a game or two while they’re here.
“It feels great,” Squalicum coach Nick Lucey said. “It’s a lot of fun to be on the ride with these kids, especially our seniors. They’ve put in their time and worked their tails off.”
A first-possession field goal by Quinn Carpenter put the Storm up 3-0, but after a three-and-out by the Cardinals, the Storm showed it’s passing proficiency.
Jorgensen found Westbrook on a go route for a 63-yard score and it was off to the races for Squalicum, which was already up 10-0 less than nine minutes in.
It was the first of three scores between the dynamic receiver and the accurate quarterback and none of them were short TDs.
Westbrook scored a 47-yard catch and run in the second quarter to make it 24-0, running past five or six Orting defenders on his jaunt into the end zone. He added a 33-yard score, when he made two guys miss, in the third quarter to push the Storm lead to 45-7.
The junior receiver finished with four catches, three touchdowns and 163 yards.
“My other receivers were blocking down field. They had great blocks,” Westbrook said. “Christian gets the ball to me in really good places. He’s just a great QB.”
Jorgensen finished the game 12 of 16 for 279 yards and four scores, one of which was a 15-yard rushing touchdown.
“They came out in some man coverage, which tells us to throw the ball a bit around,” Lucey said. “Christian did a great job executing. Good things happen when we throw to our receivers.”
Nick Manchester also had two rushing touchdowns – a 19-yarder and a 30-yarder. He finished with 60 yards on six carries.
Orting’s lone score came with 4:28 left in the third quarter, when Josh Ellingson ran it in from three yards to make it 38-7.
What the Storm put up on offense was just about as good as what the defense did, which was headed by Mitchell’s three sacks and an interception.
Squalicum forced three three-and-outs, recovered a fumble and intercepted Orting quarterback Eddie Prong three times. Ben Peterson and Quinn Carpenter had the other two interceptions.
The Storm did its usual post-game celebrations, which include singing, dancing, fight songs and a whole lot of excitement.
“It’s a great mixture. We just have a good resilient team that likes to be around each other and loves to play football,” Lucey said. “It’s just all the right ingredients are in place.”
Next up for Squalicum is Tumwater in the quarterfinals. The Thunderbirds lost to Lynden in the Class 2A state title the past two seasons and Lucey knows they’re going to be tough.
“They’re going to challenge us to be physical up front. We got to match that and come play our best game of the year,” Lucey said. “We’re excited about it.”
And now that Squalicum has one state victory under its belt, the Storm are looking for more.
“It feels amazing,” Westbrook said. “I just feel like I want to keep doing it. It makes me more hungry, more hungry to win.”
There’s certainly few people doubting the Storm’s talent after Friday night.
Squalicum — Quinn Carpenter 24 FG
Squalicum — Josiah Westbrook 63 pass from Christian Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
Squalicum — Jorgensen 15 run (Carpenter kick)
Squalicum — Nick Manchester 30 run (Carpenter kick)
Squalicum — Westbrook 47 pass from Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
Squalicum — Manchester 19 run (Carpeneter kick)
Orting — Josh Ellingson 3 run (Dillon Johnson kick)
Squalicum — Westbrook 33 pass from Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
RUSHING — Squalicum: Nick Manchester 6-60, Ben Peterson 1-0, Jordan Campbell 2-5, Christian Jorgensen 3-(-4), Josiah Westbrook 1-4, Will Nickelson 4-12, Bunji McLeod 1-0, Garrett Sorenson 1-1. Orting: Eddie Prong 8-(-18), Josh Ellingson 14-86, Griffin Rose 6-14, Ronnie Collins 11-27, Erik Jacobsen 1-4, Max Boulanger 1-5, Jon Wilkinson 1-12.
PASSING — Squalicum: Christian Jorgensen 12-16-1-279. Orting: Eddie Prong 13-23-3-149.
RECEIVING — Squalicum: Ben Peterson 4-46, Josiah Westbrook 4-163, Quinn Carpenter 2-54, Damek Mitchell 1-3, Coleman Schwab 1-13. Orting: Kevin Bodle 5-61, Josh Ellingson 4-56, Jeff Jones 2-13, Griffin Rose 1-3, Ronnie Collins 1-16.