The calendar has now flipped to October, and along with the crispness in the air comes added importance as the postseason draws ever closer. Here’s a look at where the Whatcom County 11-man football teams rank heading into Week 6:
1. Squalicum (1)
Little bit of a strange recess from the 3A Wesco North Division schedule for the Storm this week, but Squalicum didn’t schedule a cupcake. They’ll take on Class 4A Emerald Ridge in Puyallup. It should give coach Nick Lucey a chance to work on a few things before getting back to business.
2. Ferndale (2)
Think the Ferndale offense has been impressive this season? It has. But don’t overlook the Golden Eagles’ defense, which has limited its last two opponents to a combined total of 332 yards and seven points. Look for a similar performance this week against Stanwood.
3. Lynden (3)
Since losing to Ferndale by a touchdown in Week 2, the Lions have looked like what you’d expect out of Curt Kramme’s team, winning three straight 2A NWC games by at least 20 points to take the early lead in the league standings. Blaine could provide a bit of a test this week.
4. Mount Baker (4)
Make it nine straight 1A NWC wins by the Mountaineers, as they simply ran away from Lynden Christian last week, rushing for 419 yards and seven touchdowns on 51 carries. There’s no reason to think Mount Baker won’t make another deep run into the state playoffs this year.
5. Nooksack Valley (7)
Nooksack Valley not only grabbed its first 1A NWC victory in two years, but the Pioneers also put themselves in control of their own destiny to reach the district playoffs. Now it’s time to see how much the team has grown against in a game it “should” win.
6. Blaine (5)
The Borderites nearly let a vital victory slip away last week at Anacortes, but managed to hang on and keep their 2A postseason hopes in good shape. Blaine quite possibly has the best set of “triplets” in the county, with running back Riley Fritsch, quarterback Jalen Kortlever and receiver Anthony Ball.
7. Meridian (6)
It’s hard to know what is more concerning – the fact that the Trojans lost to Nooksack Valley last week, hurting their postseason hopes, or that they allowed 616 yards of total offense in the process. It will be tough to bounce back this week, with a trip to Mount Baker on the slate.
8. Bellingham (8)
Five turnovers is simply too many for any team to overcome, especially against a talented Burlington-Edison squad. But good news for the Red Raiders is they have their best shot to grab their first league victory in nearly four years this week against winless Sehome.
9. Lynden Christian (9)
The positivity the Lyncs felt after pushing Meridian to the brink in Week 4 dissipated a bit with last week’s 51-7 loss to Mount Baker. Needless to say, LC has got to shore up a defense that allowed 419 yards and seven touchdowns last week and gain more than 125 yards on offense.
10. Sehome (10)
One of Sehome’s two wins in 2015 came against Bellingham, and you know the Mariners would love to repeat that, especially with this year’s game being a league game. But the Mariners are going to need to put more points on the board, after averaging just 10.4 through the first five weeks.