Squalicum at Marysville-Getchell
Time: 5 p.m.
Storm (6-0, 3-0 3A Wesco North) update: No. 3 Squalicum stayed unbeaten with a 68-55 nonleague win over Class 4A Emerald Ridge last week. The Storm jumped out to a 47-7 lead in the first half, then put in its reserves. Running back Triston Smith scored four TDs in the first half, while Ben Peterson and Damek Mitchell each had an offensive touchdown and an interception return for a TD. The Storm is seeking its 21st consecutive regular-season win.
Chargers (1-5, 0-4) update: Marysville-Getchell lost its fifth in a row, 39-7 at Oak Harbor, last week. The Chargers were out-gained 416-106 on the ground and allowed more than 12 yards per rush. They also did not complete a pass, missing on seven attempts – one intercepted.
Key to the game: This shouldn’t be the toughest test for the Storm, so staying focused will be crucial. Squalicum can’t get caught looking ahead to next week’s showdown against Ferndale, even though that game should determine the 3A Wesco North Division champion.
Player to watch: Jack Wendling is a key figure on Squalicum’s offensive line and had a fumble return for a touchdown last week against Emerald Ridge.
Herald pick: Squalicum 52-7
Lynden at Anacortes
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Anacortes High School
Lions (5-1, 4-0 2A NWC) update: No. 6 Lynden rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat Blaine 31-23 last week to stay alone atop the 2A NWC standings. Jacob Hommes had another big game, rushing for 88 yards and two touchdowns and passing for 144 yards and another score. Brody Weinheimer rushed for 37 yards and a TD, and Lynden limited Blaine to 242 yards of total offense, including a 2.7 rushing average.
Seahawks (1-5, 1-3) update: Anacortes dropped its second in a row, falling 25-23 to Lakewood last week after letting a 23-7 halftime lead slip away. Trystan Lowry threw for two touchdowns, including a 15-yard pass to Jake Hendricks and a 38-yarder to Lincoln Gilden, and ran for another. Lowry is second among Skagit County passers with 681 yards and five TDs, while Michael Aydelotte leads the team with 312 rushing yards.
Key to the game: While it’s reassuring to know Lynden can battle back from an early deficit, it would like to avoid making a habit of it. Look for the Lions to try to seize an early lead.
Player to watch: Lynden needs to find somebody to produce a little more offense to take pressure off Hommes, who has had a hand in two-thirds of the Lions’ total offensive yardage this season with 685 rushing and 774 passing.
Herald pick: Lynden 35-14
Lakewood at Blaine
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Blaine High School
Cougars (2-3, 2-1 2A NWC) update: Lakewood got back on track with a 25-23 victory over Anacortes last week. The Cougars had to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, a rally capped by Sydney Gormley’s 32-yard game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Austin Lane threw for two touchdowns and ran for another.
Borderites (4-2, 2-2) update: Blaine’s two-game winning streak ended with a 31-23 loss to Lynden last week. The Borderites let a 13-point lead slip away, despite Riley Fritsch rushing for 165 yards and two TDs. The problem was the rest of the Borderites’ offense generated 77 yards – 76 on Anthony Ball’s 11 receptions. Ball leads Whatcom County with 618 receiving yards. Three turnovers also hurt Blaine’s cause.
Key to the game: Blaine finds itself behind Lakewood in the 2A NWC standings, meaning as of right now, the Borderites would not advance to the postseason. A win would give them a leg up in the playoff race.
Player to watch: Blaine kicker Kyle Sentkowski was the only Borderite other than Fritsch to score last week with field goals of 42, 37 and 39 yards and two extra points.
Herald pick: Blaine 27-21
Bellingham at Sedro-Woolley
Time: 7 p.m.
Red Raiders (3-3, 1-3 2A NWC) update: Bellingham ended a three-game losing streak and grabbed its first 2A NWC victory since 2012, beating Sehome 56-43 last week. Quarterback Nick Knutson completed only seven passes, but five of them went for touchdowns to four receivers, led by Spencer Lee’s four catches for 137 yards and two TDs. Knutson also rushed for a TD. Connor Wallace rushed for 97 yards on 12 attempts.
Cubs (4-2, 3-1) update: Sedro-Woolley won its second in a row, beating Burlington-Edison 17-14 last week. The Cubs used a 41-yard punt return for a touchdown by Bryce Hornbeck and Adrian Vasquez’s 34-yard field goal with 50 seconds remaining to come back and win. Andrew Sager led the Cubs with 88 yards on nine carries. Hornbeck, who plays QB, is second in Skagit County with 406 rushing yards and is averaging 9.4 yards per attempt.
Key to the game: The Red Raiders must find a way to slow a powerful Sedro-Woolley rushing attack. Last week, Bellingham allowed Sehome to rush for 337 yards and three touchdowns on 50 carries.
Player to watch: Bellingham’s Ethan Fields had 92 yards of total offense last week. He also rushed for a TD and caught another.
Herald pick: Sedro-Woolley 42-17
Burlington-Edison at Sehome
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Civic Stadium
Tigers (4-1, 2-1 2A NWC) update: No. 10 Burlington-Edison suffered its first loss with a 17-14 defeat to Sedro-Woolley on a last-minute field goal. Payton Henderson rushed for 98 yards on 20 carries. Quarterback Hunter Anderson and Terrel Cameron each scored touchdowns for the Tigers. Anderson leads Skagit County passers with 786 yards and 12 TDs. His top target has been Jacob Zamora (370 yards on 25 catches).
Mariners (0-6, 0-4) update: Sehome suffered its 13th consecutive loss, falling 56-43 to Bellingham last week. Marcus Montag had a big game, rushing for 182 yards and a touchdown, throwing for a TD and catching six passes for 36 yards. It was Montag’s second 100-yard rushing game in three weeks. Sean Graham caught two passes for 73 yards and a TD.
Key to the game: Sehome must find a way to keep opponents off the board. The Mariners have allowed 40.8 points per game this season, and unless they manage to score a season-high 43 as they did last week, that’s not going to suffice.
Player to watch: The Mariners need someone other than Montag to step up offensively. Michael Mindrich rushed for 120 yards and a TD and threw for 166 yards and two scores last week.
Herald pick: Burlington-Edison 42-14
Mount Baker at Nooksack Valley
Time: 7 p.m.
Mountaineers (6-0, 3-0 1A NWC) update: No. 3 Mount Baker won its ninth consecutive 1A NWC game, beating Meridian 41-28 last week. Whatcom County leading rusher Jed Schleimer (876 yards, 18 TDs) surpassed 100 yards for the fifth time this season, while Carson Engholm accomplished the feat for the third consecutive week and the fourth time this season. Mount Baker could clinch at least a tie for a fifth consecutive 1A NWC crown.
Pioneers (4-2, 2-1) update: Nooksack Valley stayed in control of its postseason destiny with a 35-32 win over Lynden Christian last week. Whatcom County leading passer Casey Bauman (1,591 yards, 16 TDs) surpassed 200 yards for the fifth time this season. He also rushed for two TDs in the game. He’s thrown touchdown passes to six players, led by seven to Colton Kautz, who has 483 receiving yards and 485 rushing yards this season.
Key to the game: Nooksack Valley held Schleimer to 85 yards in their first meeting Sept. 23 – a game Mount Baker won 44-36. Though Schleimer had 92 receiving yards, the Pioneers mostly contained him. If they can do that again, it dramatically improves their chances.
Player to watch: Nooksack Valley senior defensive end Evan Blankers could play a key role in slowing the Mountaineers’ run game.
Herald pick: Mount Baker 35-27
Meridian at Lynden Christian
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Lynden Christian
Trojans (2-4, 1-2 1A NWC) update: Meridian suffered its second consecutive loss with a 41-28 setback at Mount Baker last week. Quarterback Simon Burkett passed for 280 yards and two touchdowns, one each to Dawson Logan and T.J. Dykstra, surpassing 270 yards for the second consecutive week. Burkett also rushed for two TDs. But the Meridian defense allowed 366 rushing yards.
Lyncs (1-5, 0-3) update: Lynden Christian dropped its third in a row, 35-32 to Nooksack Valley last week, as missed conversion attempts after touchdowns cost the Lyncs. Jordan Riddle, who leads the team with 262 rushing yards and five TDs, ran for 152 yards and a TD, while Tyson Cline rushed for two touchdowns. Colby Flint passed for 130 yards and two TDs, both to Michael Lancaster.
Key to the game: Meridian scored 27 unanswered points then had to hold off the Lyncs for a 34-30 win in the first meeting Sept. 23. Both teams are desperate to keep their fading postseason hopes alive.
Player to watch: Meridian receiver Andrew Logan had a key forced fumble and recovery late in the Trojans’ Sept. 23 win and caught nine passes for a season-high 165 yards last week.
Herald pick: Meridian 27-23
Oak Harbor at Ferndale
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Ferndale High School
Wildcats (5-1, 2-1 3A Wesco North) update: Oak Harbor got back on track last week, beating Marysville-Getchell 39-7. Injuries, three turnovers and 10 penalties made the game uglier than it had to be for the Wildcats, who rushed for 416 yards and averaged more than 12 yards per carry. Princeton Lollar led the way with 229 yards and two TDs on 16 carries, while Taeson Hardin added 123 yards on five carries.
Golden Eagles (6-0, 3-0) update: No. 4 Ferndale stayed perfect with an impressive 55-14 win at Stanwood last week. Running back Justice Powell set the tone for the potent Golden Eagles rushing attack with a couple of long scoring runs. The Ferndale defense took care of the rest with Ben Broselle returning a fumble for a TD and James Hinson returning two interceptions for scores.
Key to the game: Ferndale must find a way to slow a very talented Oak Harbor rushing attack. Squalicum allowed 7.4 yards per attempt in its 47-20 win over the Wildcats last week. Working in the Golden Eagles’ favor: This will be Oak Harbor’s only game on grass this year.
Player to watch: Ferndale’s linebackers, including Jordan Cristelli, will likely receive their biggest challenge so far in trying to slow the Oak Harbor rushing attack.
Herald pick: Ferndale 42-20