Sedro-Woolley (12-1) came out on top during a thrilling 28-27 Class 2A State semifinal against Tumwater last week in the Tacoma Dome. The win earned the Cubs their first state championship berth since 1983. In a back-and-forth game, Mason Elms broke a 21-21 tie with a 24-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter. Tumwater answered with 2:51 left, but the PAT went wide, trimming the Cubs’ lead to 28-27. Tumwater had a final chance to win with a 41-yard field goal attempt with 11 seconds left, but Anthony Cann blocked the kick. Elms ran for 94 yards and a score, and Carter Crosby and Quinn Carpenter each scored touchdowns. Sedro-Woolley threw for only 26 yards, and its defense gave up 361 yards.
While Sedro-Woolley’s offense does a good job of picking its spots to throw, there’s no doubt the wing-T predominant Cubs best move their offense via the ground game. Powered by a deep group of talented running backs, Sedro-Woolley is averaging 254.3 rush yards per game. Five different backs have eclipsed 300 yards. Power back Quinn Carpenter leads the team with 930 yards and 12 TDs, speed back Mason Elms has 714 yards and nine touchdowns and Carter Crosby has 451 yards and nine scores. Quarterback Devin Willard has thrown for 849 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. Elms, who’s logged 21 receptions for 496 yards and nine TDs, has been Willard’s favorite target. The Cubs live on big, explosive plays and have the players to do so. The Cubs have a strong line composed of Gabe Torgerson, Erik Lukner, Blake Beacham, Chad Wilburg and Andrew Engelbretson.
Sedro-Woolley had the Northwest Conference’s top scoring defense this fall, allowing an average of 12.5 points per game. Eight times the Cubs yielded 10 or less points, including shutouts in Sedro-Woolley’s state opening-round game against W.F. West and quarterfinal against Burlington-Edison. The Cubs run a similar 3-4 defense as Lynden with three down lineman, two inside linebackers and two outside backers rolled up on the line in two-point stances. Chad Wilburg highlights a talented group of linebackers.
Players to watch
Sedro-Woolley has a number of players who can gash a defense, but the 5-foot-8, 168-pound Elms is the Cubs’ biggest threat. He has electric speed and his quickness makes him a hard one-on-one tackle. He’s a force in the run and pass game and even gets carries running the Wildcat formation. Elms has logged 1,210 total yards (714 rush, 496 receiving) and 18 total touchdowns. He’s also a threat on special teams, returning four kicks back for scores, including one against Lynden Week 8.
Sedro-Woolley has made teams work for their points all season long, and Wilburg’s play at middle linebacker has been a major reason. At 6-foot-3, 225-pounds, he’s a physical run stuffer, a sound tackler and will be responsible for slowing down Sterling Somers and Trent Postma in the run game, which won’t be an easy task. On offense, his blocking is essential to the Cubs’ run-heavy offense.
Willard isn’t going to scare anyone with his running ability, nor does he have a cannon for an arm, but Willard is efficient in the pass game, makes the most of his opportunities and won’t lose games with poor decisions. He’s completed 61 of 106 passes for 849 yards with 16 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He’s run for less than 100 yards, but he sure knows how to get his play-makers the ball.
Cubs keys to the game
1. POUND THE ROCK
It’s no secret Sedro-Woolley wants to run the ball against Lynden. That’s the Cubs’ bread and butter, and the game’s outcome may come down to who’s tougher in the trenches. Sedro-Woolley runs at teams with a number of backs. Junior Quinn Carpenter has served as the team’s bruising runner this fall, amassing 930 yards and 12 TDs.
2. AIR CONTROL
Sterling Somers threw for 360 yards against the Cubs Week 8. Jordan Wittenberg compiled 166 yards, and Scooter Hastings used his 6-foot-7 frame to catch three TDs. Sedro-Woolley can’t let that happen again, whether that means bringing more pressure or running more exotic looks with Anthony Cann in the secondary.
3. PLAY WITH CONFIDENCE
Sure the Cubs have already played in the Tacoma Dome, beating Tumwater last week, but Sedro-Woolley hasn’t played for a state championship since 1983. Every senior on the Lions’ roster has been a part of a state championship game each year. Lynden will be ready for the big moment. The Cubs can’t afford a slow start.
to the final
|Sept. 5||at Mount Baker||W 35-7|
|Sept. 12||Mount Vernon||W 37-0|
|Sept. 19||at Burlington-Ed.*||W 28-10|
|Sept. 26||Squalicum*||W 30-7|
|Oct. 3||at Blaine*||W 37-7|
|Oct. 10||at Sehome*||W 49-9|
|Oct. 17||Anacortes*||W 49-21|
|Oct. 24||Lynden*||L 33-30|
|Oct. 30||at Ferndale*||W 35-28|
|CLASS 2A NW DISTRICT PLAYOFFS|
|Nov. 7||Cedarcrest||W 42-13|
|CLASS 2A STATE PLAYOFFS|
|Nov. 14||W.F. West||W 41-0|
|Nov. 21||Burlington-Ed.||W 34-0|
|Nov. 29||Tumwater||W 28-27|
*NWC 2A/3A game
Cubs state playoff history
|1978||3A||Lost in quarterfinals|
|1986||3A||Lost in semifinals|
|1989||3A||Lost in first round|
|1991||3A||Lost in first round|
|2013||2A||Lost in first round|
Cubs team statistics
|6.9||Yards per rush||4.0|
|7.8||Yards per pass attempt||5.5|
|7.1||Yards per offensive play||5.9|
|N/A||First downs per game||N/A|