I’ve compiled a respectable 14-6 record picking Friday night football games throughout the first two weeks of the season, . Yes, I would like to see that correct-pick percentage rise, but the first few weeks of the season are always the hardest, so I’ll take it.
Plus, four of my six incorrect picks were due to me rolling with Ferndale and Lummi in Week 1 and Week 2. Both are usually safe bets to win, but heading into Week 3 the Blackhawks and Golden Eagles are winless. Perhaps a third straight week of picking the lone 3A and 1B teams in Whatcom County will be the trick. We’ll see. Here are my picks this week:
Sehome (1-1) at Anacortes (1-1)
The Mariners open league play on the road and are coming off a comfortable 38-14 win against rival Bellingham. Surely, the Seahawks will give Sehome a tougher test. Quarterback Gavin Kaepernick earned his first start last week, and that allowed star athlete Taylor Rapp to do what he does best — run wild through defenses. I like the Mariners in this one.
Ferndale (0-2) at Blaine (2-0)
When a 2-0 team faces a 0-2 team, common sense says take the team who’s undefeated. But could coach Jamie Plenkovich’s Golden Eagles really slip to 0-3? I love what coach Jay Dodd and the Borderites have going on up in Blaine. They are a hungry team ready to prove they can hang with the bigger schools. I think Blaine makes a run at what most would consider an upset, despite the records, but at the end of the day, the Golden Eagles pull it out and they finally reward me for picking them.
Lynden (2-0) at Squalicum (2-0)
Ahh, what many consider the main event of this Friday’s slate. Lynden enters the game looking for its 30th straight win and is coming off two strong wins against talented non-conference opponents. The Lions are loaded with talent. That’s undeniable, but don’t count the Storm out. Squalicum is a confident group and out of most NWC schools, they just might have the best set of athletes to match up with Lynden’s. It’s technically the Storm’s first home game, and Civic will sure to be festive atmosphere, but in the end Lynden ruins Squalicum’s home opener.
Bellingham (0-2) at Lynden Christian (2-0)
The Lyncs have impressed the first two weeks, so much so they were voted No. 10 in Class 1A in the latest Associated Press Washington State Prep Football Poll. LC has outscored its opponents 87-13, and the Lyncs’ offense has been outstanding. The Red Raiders now begin playing some beatable teams after running the city gauntlet against Squalicum and Sehome. Unfortunately, for Bellingham, Lynden Christian is not one of those beatables. The Lyncs put on an aerial spectacular and win running away.
Mount Baker (1-1) at Cascade (1-1)
It’s hard to get a read on the Mountaineers, who are ranked No. 8 in the latest 1A poll. First Baker gets beat down by Sedro-Woolley in Week 1 and then bounces back with a 54-6 drubbing over Class 2B school Oroville. Cascade is definitely on a different level than Oroville and most likely closer to Sedro-Woolley than Oroville. It’s hard to look past Baker’s 1.7 yards per carry against Sedro. In a long drive over the pass just to get to Cascade, I like the Kodiaks to defend their home turf and pull away in the fourth quarter.
Chelan (0-2) at Meridian (1-1)
Nothing erases an ugly outing like a win the next week, and despite the Trojans’ struggles against Squalicum a week ago, it’s hard not to think Bob Ames and the Meridian staff don’t get the Trojans fired up for their final non-conference primer before league play. Both of Chelan’s losses were close (22-20 to Brewster and 43-27 to Okanogan), but Meridian handles the Mountain Goats at home.
Seattle Lutheran (1-0) at Lummi (0-2)
Kudos to the Blackhawks for challenging themselves the first two weeks of the season. Lummi first went on the road to play Oregon small-school power Adrian and then faced state-rival Neah Bay. Coach Jim Sandusky gets his team ready to play against Seattle Luthern and rolls to a big win at home.
Nooksack Valley (2-0) at Cascade Christian (2-0)
If Lynden-Squalicum is this week’s 2A headliner, this top-10 matchup is the one to watch in the 1As. Unfortunately, the game is being played Saturday night in Sumner. The No. 2-ranked Cougars take on No. 8 Nooksack Valley, which has looked great during the first two weeks. QB Tanner Myhre has played unbelievable the first two weeks, amassing a total of 839 yards and 12 touchdowns (six rushing, six passing). As good as the Pioneers have been, the Cougars looked impressive and out muscled Sehome in the two teams’ opener. If Nooksack Valley has a weakness, its strength up front. Nooksack Valley should give Cascade Christian a game, but the Cougars leave with the win.
Sedro-Woolley (2-0) at Burlington-Edison (2-0)
This game provides plenty of intrigue. Sedro-Woolley, as expected, has played outstanding with blowout wins each of the first two weeks. The Cubs’ defense has allowed just one touchdown and is giving up 1.6-yards per rush. On the flip side, the Tigers have been as impressive. Burlington-Edison also has given up one TD and has outscored opponents 69-6. I expect a good game between these Skagit rivals, but the Cubs have too much firepower for the Tigers, and Sedro-Woolley’s wing-T rushing attack is nothing like Burlington has seen the first two weeks.
Check back next Thursday for Week 4’s picks.