I was one wrong choice away from perfection last week, selecting eight of nine games correctly. But let’s face it, the single mistake, a 30-17 loss I predicted Mount Baker to suffer against Cascade, was horribly wrong. Coach Ron Lepper reminded me of it, too. Sorry, Baker. What really matters, though, is the fact the Mountaineers are 2-1, back on track and ranked No. 6 in this week’s AP Poll.
With an 8-1 mark in Week 3, that improves my picking record to 22-7. Going with Ferndale and Lummi to win for the third straight week finally paid off, and perceived gambles such as picking Ferndale over Blaine and Meridian over Chelan also worked in my favor. With a full slate of league games this week, picking winners might be more a crapshoot than calculated certainty, but as always, based on my observations, I will provide who I believe will win this Friday and why. Also, for the first time, I will provide who I picked last week and what the actual score was. Here goes.
Anacortes (1-2, 0-1 NWC 2A/3A) at Lynden (3-0, 1-0 NWC 2A/3A)
It will be interesting to see who of Lynden’s injured stars last week will be able to go against Anacortes. Will Trent Postma or Scooter Hastings be back? Truthfully, though, it doesn’t matter if they are in this one. The Lions are too talented to lose to the Seahawks. I see Sterling Somers bouncing back with a big passing game, and by halftime Lynden will have the game well in hand.
Squalicum (2-1, 0-1 NWC 2A/3A) at Sedro-Woolley (3-0, 1-0 NWC 2A/3A)
Ugh, facing Lynden then Sedro-Woolley isn’t a kind introduction to Northwest Conference play for new Storm coach Nick Lucey. I see Squalicum in the upper echelon of the conference, but the Storm could very well have two league losses in the same number of league games. This one should be interesting. It features a smashmouth, run-heavy No. 7-ranked Cubs team against an athletic, more finesse Squalicum club. I expect the game comes down to the fourth quarter, but when all is said in done, defense usually prevails and Sedro-Wolley may have the NWC’s best defense, although surely Lynden would have something to say about that.
Blaine (2-1, 0-1 NWC 2A/3A) at Sehome (2-1, 1-0 NWC 2A/3A)
This could very well be the game of the week, as far as competitiveness goes. If the Mariners are sleeping on Blaine, they shouldn’t. The Borderites gave Ferndale everything it could handle a week ago and has the talent to hang with the rest of the 2A schools. Still, Sehome is big up front, and with the QB situation in place, Taylor Rapp becomes one of the premier threats in the Northwest Conference. I expect Sehome to establish the run game early, and for the Mariners’ defense to do just enough to slow Blaine’s two-pronged rushing attack of Riley Fritsch and Kier Munzanreder. Should be a close one, but I like Sehome.
Burlington-Edison (2-1, 0-1 NWC 2A/3A) at Ferndale (1-2, 1-0 NWC 2A/3A)
The Golden Eagles broke into the win column last week after turning it on during the second half to beat Blaine. The Tigers looked good through two weeks but came back down to earth against Sedro-Woolley. Starting running back Marcus Nightingale, who leads the Northwest Conference in rushing yards (415), bullied his way to 139 yards and two touchdowns. I expect Ferndale again to turn to its big back and wear down Burlington-Edison’s defense that allowed Sedro-Woolley to run for 254 yards last week. Burlington-Edison keeps it close until halftime, but again Ferndale turns it on in the second half.
Lynden Christian (3-0) at Meridian (2-1)
There’s no denying the results the Lyncs have obtained through the first three weeks of the season. They’ve been simply dominant, outscoring opponents 128-13. But how much of LC’s success has been due to the relatively soft non-conference schedule its played. That answer should be answered this week against an always tough Meridian team. Lynden Christian hasn’t beaten Meridian in the three years Lyncs coach Galen Kaemingk has been coaching. Maybe LC gets the better of its rival later in the year at home, but beating the Trojans in Laurel isn’t something I believe the Lyncs are ready for at this point. Meridian pulls out a narrow win.
Mount Baker (2-1) at Nooksack Valley (2-1)
A week ago I would have felt comfortable picking Nooksack Valley to win running away, but looking at the rush yards the Pioneers gave up last week, coupled with the fact Mount Baker does its best work in the ground game, has me second guessing. The past two weeks have shown the Mountaineers are far better than what they showed opening week, and although Nooksack Valley lost by a sizable margin to No. 2 Cascade Christian, I still see the Pioneers as the team to beat in the 1As. I hate to pick against Mount Baker two weeks in a row, but Nooksack Valley’s lethal pass game will be the difference in this one.
Bellingham (0-3) at Charles Wright Academy (1-2)
Following two weeks or solid progression, the Red Raiders seemed to stub their toe last week, taking a 41-0 loss to Lynden Christian. Bellingham compiled only 119 total yards to go with six first downs — not exactly winning numbers. Coach Ted Flint’s turnaround of the Bellingham program is not going to be an overnight deal and in the coming weeks I would be surprised if the Red Raiders don’t win a game or two. In fact, I think the 15-game losing streak finally comes to an end this Friday. That’s right, I’m rolling with the Red Raiders to rally on the road and come back to Bellingham with the confidence-building win they need.
Lummi (1-2) at Entiat (3-0)
No longer do the Blackhawks have big Deion Hoskins rumbling for touchdowns, but that doesn’t mean the Hoskins era is over. Hank Hoskins put together a breakout performance last week during Lummi’s first win against Seattle Lutheran. Hoskins threw for 253 yards and three TDs and ran for 107 yards and two scores. Little is known about Entiat, but even though it enters the game undefeated, I don’t see coach Jim Sandusky‘s team falling to 1-3. The Blackhawks are better than their record suggests. Lummi rolls.
Check back next week for my Week 5 predictions.
|Week 3 Picks/Results|
|Matchup||My prediction||Actual score|
|Sehome at Anacortes||Sehome 28-17||Sehome 38-7|
|Ferndale at Blaine||Ferndale 27-20||Ferndale 33-14|
|Sedro-Woolley at Burlington-Edison||Sedro-Woolley 35-14||Sedro-Woolley 28-10|
|Lynden at Squalicum||Lynden 35-21||Lynden 49-24|
|Bellingham at Lynden Christian||Lynden Christian 42-24||Lynden Christian 41-0|
|Mount Baker at Cascade||Cascade 30-17||Mount Baker 42-6|
|Chelan at Meridian||Meridian 23-14||Meridian 35-0|
|Nooksack Valley at Cascade Christian||Cascade Christian 41-28||Cascade Christian 42-18|
|Seattle Lutheran at Lummi||Lummi 54-32||Lummi 60-12|