Week 8 brought some answers for Whatcom County football teams, as the 1A NWC, 2A NWC and 3A Wesco North Division titles were clinched by Mount Baker, Lynden and Squalicum, respectively. Week 9 will answer some more, such as will Nooksack Valley or Meridian make it through the the 1A district playoffs, will Blaine lock up the No. 3 seed to the 2A district playoffs and will Lummi win the NWFL 1B title? Here’s a look at how Whatcom County’s 11-man teams rank heading into the final week of the regular season:
1. Squalicum (1)
After failing to win a league title the first 16 years of the school was open, the Storm have now won back-to-back crowns in the Northwest Conference last year and the 3A Wesco North Division this season. Week 9 is all about staying healthy and maintaining momentum as the postseason approaches.
2. Ferndale (2)
You kind of got the sense if last week’s game against Squalicum had gone a few minutes longer, the Golden Eagles might have found a way to win it. Ben Broselle was the real deal with 269 yards of total offense and four TDs, and quarterback James Hinson can sling the ball (252 yards and 4 TDs).
3. Lynden (3)
It may not have always been pretty this year, but Lynden has almost always found a way to get the win. The Lions’ defense has been solid, limiting Burlington-Edison to 200 total yards last week, while Jacob Hommes and the offense have found a way to get the job in the second half.
4. Mount Baker (4)
The Mountaineers have won five straight 1A NWC titles, and there’s little reason to think they’ll be unable to push their string of reaching at least the state quarterfinals to five, as well. They already have a pair of 1,000-yard rushers and a defense that’s held opponents to 14 points or less four times this year.
5. Blaine (5)
Nobody has been playing better than Blaine on both sides of the ball the past two weeks, and now the Borderites can end their two-year playoff drought with a win at Burlington-Edison on Thursday, Oct. 27. If they win, they’ll lock up the NWC’s No. 3 seed and avoid a potential tiebreaker.
6. Meridian (8)
Despite what he says to the contrary, never give up on Bob Ames’ boys. The Trojans’ postseason hopes were on life support before last week’s 47-20 victory over Nooksack Valley. Now if Meridian can beat Mount Baker on Friday, Oct. 28, the Trojans will claim the 1A NWC No. 2 seed outright.
7. Bellingham (7)
It’s time to call Bellingham’s decision to move out of the Northwest Conference two years ago to give the program a chance to rebuild before returning this year a success. The Red Raiders are just two wins away from their second straight 6-4 campaign, and this one will have come against stiff competition.
8. Nooksack Valley (6)
A good defense can win championships, but a struggling one can cost you a playoff spot. The Pioneers went from controlling their own destiny to hoping Mount Baker beats Meridian to potentially force a tie for the 1A NWC’s No. 2 spot. Nooksack has allowed 1,123 yards and 104 points the past two weeks.
9. Lynden Christian (9)
Don’t be shocked if the Lyncs play spoiler to Nooksack Valley’s postseason hopes this week. LC lost by only three points (35-32) the first time the teams met three weeks ago and held Casey Bauman to 219 yards passing – his second lowest total of the year.
10. Sehome (10)
The Mariners gained just 30 yards of offense in last week’s loss at Blaine. We’ll just leave it at that.