High School Football

Championship week starts with Lynden, Baker vying for outright 2A, 1A NWC crowns

Lynden’s Jacob Hommes, left, and Mount Baker’s Jed Schleimer hope to help their team clinch titles in the 2A NWC and 1A NWC, respectively, with Week 8 wins Friday, Oct. 21.
Lynden’s Jacob Hommes, left, and Mount Baker’s Jed Schleimer hope to help their team clinch titles in the 2A NWC and 1A NWC, respectively, with Week 8 wins Friday, Oct. 21. The Bellingham Herald

Friday Harbor at Lummi

Time: 6 p.m.

Site: Lummi Nation School

Wolverines (1-4) update: Friday Harbor had a bye last week after losing 54-0 to La Conner on Oct. 7. The Wolverines had problems stopping the run, as La Conner had two running backs gain more than 80 yards. Friday Harbor has allowed 42 or more points three times while scoring 20 or more only once – a 41-6 victory over Darrington on Sept. 23.

Blackhawks (7-0) update: Top-ranked Lummi rolled past Crescent 50-6 in a NWFL 1B game that was delayed until Monday, Oct. 17. Raven Borsey scored on a 60-yard touchdown run and returned a kickoff for a TD, while brother Free Borsey scored on a 9-yard run and a 38-yard reception. Trazil Lane caught a 49-yard TD reception. The Blackhawks’ defense did not allow a touchdown.

Key to the game: It would be easy for Lummi to look past this week against a struggling nonleague foe toward a game against rival Neah Bay looming next week. The Blackhawks just need to focus on the task and stay sharp and healthy for that big game.

Player to watch: Lummi’s Dashawn Lawrence has emerged as a strong option for Free Borsey at quarterback, even connecting with Borsey for a TD in Monday’s win over Crescent. He threw for 150 yards and two TDs last week and ran for 66 yards on four carries.

Herald prediction: Lummi 56-6

Anacortes at Bellingham

Time: 7 p.m.

Site: Civic Stadium

Seahawks (1-6, 1-4 2A NWC) update: Anacortes allowed 28 unanswered points in a 35-7 loss to Lynden last week. Quarterback Trystan Lowry leads Skagit County with 864 passing yards and has seven TDs. He threw for 125 yards against Lynden, but the Seahawks averaged fewer than 3 yards per carry (91 yards on 33 attempts). Lowry scored their only TD on a 1-yard run in the second quarter.

Red Raiders (3-4, 1-4) update: Bellingham simply didn’t have the firepower to stick with Sedro-Woolley in a 49-18 loss last week. Like many other teams this year, the Red Raiders struggled to stop the Cubs’ rushing attack, allowing 364 yards and six TDs on 42 attempts (8.7 average). Nick Knutson had a nice night, though, throwing for 166 yards and two TDs, one to Spencer Lee, who had 105 yards on six catches.

Key to the game: Bellingham has an opportunity to finish with a winning record for a second straight year if it wins out, but finishing 6-4 would mean a little bit more with the Red Raiders’ returning to the NWC after two years rebuilding as an independent.

Player to watch: Bellingham running back Connor Wallace led the Red Raiders with 84 yards and a TD on 10 carries last week. He’s averaging 7.0 yards per carry and has found the end zone four times.

Herald prediction: Bellingham 21-13

Sehome at Blaine

Time: 7 p.m.

Site: Blaine High School

Mariners (0-7, 0-5 2A NWC) update: Sehome allowed 42 points in the first half of a 42-7 loss to Burlington-Edison last week. It marked the sixth time the Mariners have allowed 42 or more points and the fourth time they’ve scored a touchdown or less. Marcus Montag had 154 total yards (114 rushing, 40 receiving), while the rest of the team combined for 62 yards. Nic Roger found Ben Dauber for a TD pass for the Mariners’ only points.

Borderites (5-2, 3-2) update: Blaine turned in its best defensive performance and added a number of explosive plays on offense in a 44-7 victory over Lakewood last week. Running back Riley Fritsch reached triple figures for the fifth straight week, rushing for 170 yards and two TDs on 26 carries to break 1,000 yards. Anthony Ball, who is running away with the Whatcom County receiving lead, caught seven passes for 85 yards and two TDs.

Key to the game: Blaine has a half-game lead over Lakewood for the 2A NWC’s fourth and final berth into the district playoffs, and they don’t want to allow that advantage to slip away by dropping a game they should win. Take care of business, and the Borderites can move on to battle Burlington-Edison for third next week.

Player to watch: Blaine center John Kramme anchors an offensive line that has paved the way for Fritsch to rush for 1,041 yards and 14 touchdowns through seven games.

Herald prediction: Blaine 45-7

Burlington-Edison at Lynden

Time: 7 p.m.

Site: Lynden High School

Tigers update: Burlington-Edison scored the first 42 points in a 42-7 victory over Sehome last week. Quarterback Hunter Anderson completed all 10 passes for 188 yards and three touchdowns. He is second in Skagit County with 848 yards and leads the county with 12 TD tosses. Terrell Cameron rushed for 146 yards on eight carries and had a 72-yard TD run.

Lions update: The Lions scored 28 straight points in the second half to pull away and beat Anacortes 35-7. Jacob Hommes threw for a season-high 221 yards and three touchdowns, including 174 yards and two scores on eight passes to Rylan Severson. The Lions’ defense also had a strong game, limiting Anacortes to 91 rushing yards and a TD on 33 attempts (2.8 average) and forcing four turnovers.

Key to the game: Lynden can lock up the 2A NWC title and the top seed into the district playoffs with a win. A win by the Tigers would give them a chance to force a three-way tie for the top spot along with Sedro-Woolley.

Player to watch: Landon DeBruin is part of a Lynden secondary that has allowed just 102.9 passing yards per game. The unit will be asked to slow one of the league’s top passing attacks.

Herald prediction: Lynden 35-21

Lynden Christian at Mount Baker

Time: 7 p.m.

Site: Sedro-Woolley High School

Lyncs (1-6, 0-4 1A NWC) update: Lynden Christian allowed two touchdowns in the final three minutes and suffered a 33-28 loss to Meridian on Monday, Oct. 17. The Lyncs were held to 18 rushing yards on 24 attempts, but quarterback Colby Flint threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns. His top targets were Kalai Jandoc (136 yards, 1 TD), Michael Lancaster (103 yards, 1 TD) and Nathan Wynstra, who made his first three catches of the season for 86 yards and two TDs.

Mountaineers (7-0, 4-0) update: Mount Baker rolled up 544 rushing yards and clinched a share of its fifth straight 1A NWC title with a 57-36 win over Nooksack Valley on Monday, Oct. 17. The damage in the Mountaineers’ biggest rushing game of the season was split fairly evenly between Whatcom County rushing leader Jed Schleimer (272 yards, 4 TDs) and Carson Engholm (276 yards, 3 TDs). Mount Baker will clinch the outright 1A NWC title with a win.

Key to the game: Schleimer and Engholm combined for 319 yards and six touchdowns in a 51-7 victory over the Lyncs in the first meeting Sept. 30. Obviously, LC needs to find a way to slow that attack.

Player to watch: Thomas Barbo caught one pass for an 18-yard touchdown last week, but he and the rest of the Mount Baker secondary will need to improve upon the 435 passing yards they allowed against Nooksack.

Herald prediction: Mount Baker 45-10

Nooksack Valley at Meridian

Time: 7 p.m.

Site: Meridian High School

Pioneers (4-3, 2-2 1A NWC) update: Despite 435 passing yards from Casey Bauman, Nooksack Valley couldn’t stop Mount Baker’s power run game enough in a 57-36 loss Monday, Oct. 17. Whatcom County passing leader Bauman threw for a season-high 435 yards and four touchdowns and added two rushing TDs. Michael O’Bryan led three Pioneer receivers who reached triple digits in the game with 142 yards along with Kyle Veldman (113 yards) and Jeremy Dykes (104 yards, 2 TDs). A win would clinch the Pioneers’ first district playoff appearance since 2011.

Trojans (3-4, 2-2) update: Tony Schleimer’s 4-yard touchdown run put Meridian ahead and Simon Burkett returned an interception for the clinching score in a 33-28 win over Lynden Christian on Monday, Oct. 17. Burkett rushed for 159 yards and a TD and passed for 157 yards and a TD. Schleimer and Cole Roberts each had 40-yard rushing performances and scored a TD, while the defense limited LC to 18 rushing yards on 24 attempts.

Key to the game: Bauman threw for 282 yards and five TDs in a 47-34 win over Meridian in the team’s first meeting Sept. 30. After allowing 355 passing yards to LC last week, the Trojans have to find a way to slow the Pioneers’ passing attack in a game that could decide which team advances to the playoffs.

Player to watch: Nooksack Valley’s Colton Kautz left Monday’s game with a foot injury. Tre Silva came in and showed good ability to get to the edge, rushing for 42 yards on seven carries and adding 55 yards and a TD receiving.

Herald prediction: Nooksack Valley 27-24

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