The Squalicum football team’s offense used some trickery Friday, Sept. 30, during the Storm’s 47-20 victory over No. 7 Oak Harbor. Squalicum’s many offensive weapons threw the Wildcats off balance.
Four Storm players attempted at least one pass, including a 38-yard touchdown throw from Damek Mitchell, the team’s top wide receiver Friday, to Noah Westerhoff. Mitchell took a pitch from quarterback Garrett Sorenson on the right side, faked the run and lobbed the ball to a wide-open Westerhoff.
Ben Peterson also took some snaps in the shotgun formation, but he only threw one pass. He rushed on every other direct snap on his way to 141 yards and three touchdowns.
Peterson has played a variety of roles this season, including wide receiver and running back. He’s also proved he can command the offense. When Sorenson was injured and missed the Storm’s 3A Wesco North opener against Marysville-Pilchuck on Sept. 16, Peterson started at quarterback and threw for 159 yards and three touchdowns.
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Lions rely on big plays
Lynden’s success keyed on big plays in its 54-26 victory over Lakewood on Friday, as the deep-threat capabilities of Lynden receiver Aaron Weidenaar helped the Lions. Weidenaar had three catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
The Lions actually had fewer first downs (19) than Lakewood, as their quickness and efficiency prevented many long, time-consuming Lynden drives.
But that also meant the Lynden defense was on the field longer. Lakewood passed for 197 yards – by far the most allowed by a Lions defense that surrendered 276 passing yards through the first four weeks.
“We’re always looking to improve our tackling. That’s a big key in this league,” Lynden coach Curt Kramme said. “We had opportunities to put this game away early, but we had some turnovers, some fumbles and some things on defense that are uncharacteristic for us. So, we have some work to do, but at the same time, we’re pretty happy with where we’re at.”
Pioneers put up big numbers
Nooksack Valley quarterback Casey Bauman and running back Colton Kautz had huge games in a 47-34 1A NWC win over Meridian on Friday, as the Pioneers rolled up 616 total yards.
Bauman completed 14 of 25 passes for 282 yards and five touchdowns, three to Kautz, including second-half bombs of 82 and 63 yards. Bauman also had 20 carries for 160 yards and one touchdown. Kautz rushed 21 times for 125 yards, caught four passes for 156 yards, threw a 29-yard pass on a trick play to set up a score and finished with four touchdowns.
Jordan Veening got in on the buzz when the junior recovered an onside kick after Kautz’s first varsity pass set up Bauman’s touchdown. The Pioneers then drove 40 yards to score, capped by Kautz’s 7-yard run, putting Nooksack up 34-12 midway through the third quarter.
Kyle Veldman’s 44-yard interception return with Nooksack up 41-19 also was big for the Pioneers, as was a fumble recovery to open the second half by Evan Blankers. It was soon after Blankers’ recovery that Kautz’s trick pass set up Bauman’s 4-yard touchdown run.
With big plays like that, it’s no wonder the Pioneers earned their first league win in two seasons and have already tripled the victory total of last year’s 1-9 season and find themselves in the middle of a battle for the postseason.
Ferndale shines on both sides
As impressive as Ferndale was on offense in its 49-7 3A Wesco North victory over Marysville-Pilchuck on Friday, its defense was equally as good.
The Golden Eagles rushed for 310 yards and six touchdowns and added a 31-yard scoring pass from quarterback James Hinson to Ben Broselle in the third quarter.
Ferndale limited the Tomahawks to 102 rushing yards on 35 carries – a 2.9-yard average. Marysville-Pilchuck completed 2 of 4 passes for 32 yards. The Golden Eagles allowed just five first downs.
About the only thing Ferndale didn’t do was force a turnover, but with 402 total yards of offense, they didn’t need one.
Blaine shows fortitude
Perseverance was the key for Blaine in Friday’s 28-21 victory at Anacortes. After leading 20-0 at halftime, Blaine’s secondary faltered in the third quarter, giving up two long touchdown passes and allowing Anacortes to get close.
“We got to kind of a decent lead there at halftime,” Blaine coach Jay Dodd said. “We had a little setback there in the third quarter. Just had some minor things happen to us in the pass defense.”
The Borderites shored up their defense in the fourth, and senior running back Riley Fritsch sprinted into the end zone from 29 yards out for the deciding touchdown.
Anacortes scored on a touchdown pass from Trystan Lowry to Elias Moore with 4:37 left, but Blaine chewed up the clock with its ground game.
“I think our team competed great,” Dodd said. “We came out and played a good first half. In the fourth quarter, when things got a little tight, I like the way our kids reacted. Our kids just kept playing.”
LC offense fights to the finish
Lynden Christian struggled to find the end zone after the first quarter in its 51-7 1A NWC loss to Mt. Baker on Friday.
Lyncs senior Gavin Mumford ran for 32 yards on seven carries, and Colby Flint connected with five receivers.
The Mountaineers’ defense proved almost as efficient as their offense, forcing a fumble and intercepting a pass in the third quarter and sacking Flint twice. They also stuffed the Lyncs’ running game for negative yards on four occasions.