High School Sports

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Semifinal previews

CLASS 2A QUARTERFINAL

PROSSER (12-0) VS. LYNDEN (10-2)

Time: 5 p.m.

Site: Tacoma Dome

Mustangs state appearances: 21

Mustangs playoff record: 33-17.

Mustangs state titles: 3 (3A: 1992, 1993, 1999).

Mustangs last semifinal appearance: Lost 37-35 to Centralia in 2006.

Mustangs road to the semifinals: Won CWAC 2A regular season title. Beat Clarkston 40-21 in Class 2A first round. Beat Bellingham 35-6 in Class 2A quarterfinals.

Mustangs update: Prosser has put up some impressive offensive numbers this season. Just look at place kicker Ricardo Sanchez, who has booted 64 extra points. In all, the Mustangs have tallied 641 points, or an average of 53.4 per game. They’ve scored 50 or more in half of their games, including a season-high 79 against Grandview on Oct. 19. Quarterback Jordan Zurbin leads the way with 3,023 yards on 165-of-235 passing. He also has 48 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He has a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Cody Brunn (67 catches, 1,286 yards, 19 TDs) and Kirby Moore (55 receptions, 1,005 yards, 22 TDs). Running back Drake Washington (115 carries, 926 yards, eight touchdowns) provides some balance to the passing attack. Prosser can also play defense, as they limited Bellingham to six points and 200 yards of total offense last week and forced three-and-outs on the Red Raiders’ first five possessions.

Lions state appearances: 19

Lions playoff record: 34-15

Lions state titles: 3 (2A: 2006, 1A: 1980, 1991)

Lions last semifinal appearance: Beat Tumwater 20-10 in 2006.

Lions road to the semifinals: Finished second in the Northwest Conference Class 2A. Beat South Whidbey 41-0 in a state play-in game. Beat Centralia 28-6 in Class 2A first round. Beat Fife 28-19 in Class 2A quarterfinals.

Lions update: Though not as high-scoring as Prosser, Lynden’s version of the spread offense has put up its share of points as well. The Lions have outscored opponents 372-147, averaging 31.0 points per game. Quarterback Tate Dallas is a double threat, passing for 2,316 yards and 28 touchdowns and running for 453 yards and seven more touchdowns. His top target has been Ryan Gaylord, who has 57 catches for 1,013 yards and 11 touchdowns. Brady Bomber adds a second dangerous threat with 44 catches for 543 yards and nine TDs. Stephen Johnson has 223 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries during the Lions’ three postseason games. The Lynden defense also has come up big during that stretch and throughout most of the season. In three postseason games, the Lions have allowed only 25 points and an average of 163.7 yards of total offense.

Key to the game: The two teams with high-scoring spread offenses were expected to meet in last year’s Class 2A state final, but Centralia managed to knock off the Mustangs. Now that they will be on the same field at the same time, this game might come down to defense. Both teams have shown they can put up big points. Whichever team can slow up the other best certainly has a good chance of winning the game and moving on to face the winner of the other semifinal between Burlington-Edison and Othello.

Players to watch

Joshua Duggan

School: Lynden

Position: DL

Year: Senior

Duggan stepped up with a couple of key sacks in the fourth quarter last week against Fife. He and his defensive teammates have an even bigger challenge this week.

Stephen Johnson

School: Lynden

Position: RB/DB

Year: Senior

Johnson has come up big late in games the past two weeks, and this week he and the Lions rushing attack will be asked to control the ball and keep it away from the Prosser offense.

CLASS 1B SEMIFINAL

ALMIRA-COULEE-HARTLINE (11-1) VS. LUMMI (10-1)

Time: 11:30 a.m. Saturday

Site: Tacoma Dome

Warriors state appearances: 3 (does not include playoff appearances by Almira, Coulee or Coulee-Hartline)

Warriors playoff record: 4-2

Warriors state titles: 1 (1B: 1990)

Warriors last semifinal appearance: Beat Odessa 40-20 in 1990.

Warriors road to the semifinals: Finished second in the Northeast 1B Conference. Beat Garfield-Palouse 52-14 in state play-in game. Beat Touchet 38-36 in Class 1B state quarterfinals.

Warriors update: Almira-Coulee-Hartline pulled off a bit of an upset last week, dispatching with highly ranked Touchet in the first round of the playoffs. Quarterback Josh Goodwin passed for 331 yards and six touchdowns in the game, but the Warriors are generally a run-first team. Jordan Hughes leads the way with more than 1,000 yards. Fullback Nate West and Goodwin also are threats on the ground. Goodwin’s top targets through the air are Ryan Gregson and Kyle Tucker. The Warriors have been solid all season long. Their only loss came in a conference game to Odessa, which will play Tri-Cities Prep in the other 1B semifinal.

Blackhawks state appearances: 4

Blackhawks playoff record: 4-3

Blackhawks state titles: None

Blackhawks last semifinal appearance: Beat Touchet 26-20 in 2006.

Blackhawks road to the semifinals: Won the Pacific Coast League championship. Beat Lake Quinault 28-24 in Class 1B quarterfinals.

Blackhawks update: Lummi struggled a little bit in the first round of the playoffs. The Blackhawks, who are usually a quick-strike offense, found themselves in a ball-control game and had to come back to score the winning touchdown on a screen pass to Tony Washington. It was only the second time all season Lummi scored less than 30 points in a game, as the Blackhawks have averaged 60.2 points per game. Dustin Tom leads the attack with 2,315 yards passing and 35 touchdowns. Isaac Finkbonner provides a valuable second threat from under center. Washington is the team’s leading rusher with 601 yards and 11 touchdowns. Gale Jefferson leads a quintet of Lummi receivers who have at least 300 yards receiving. Jefferson has 47 catches for 975 yards and 11 TDs.

Key to the game: Both teams were a bit of a surprise last week. The Warriors’ win over Touchet was an upset, and Lummi narrowly avoided an upset against a team it had already beaten. If Lummi rediscovers its high-scoring offense, it should be able to advance to the state final for the second straight year.

Players to watch

Gale Jefferson

School: Lummi

Positions: Please check roster

Year: Please check roster

Jefferson has been a big-play threat for Lummi all year, but his biggest play last week came on defense when he forced and recovered a game-clinching fumble on a hook-and-lateral play. Look for more big plays this week.

Tony Washington

School: Lummi

Positions: Please check roster

Year: Please check roster

Washington was held to three yards on four carries by Lake Quinault, but he scored the game-winning touchdown on a screen pass. Look for him to get back on track on ground this week.

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