High School Football

Ferndale hosts Capital in 3A quad-district playoffs Saturday

Ferndale’s Winterhawk Leighton drags Oak Harbor’s Taeson Hardin down for a loss Oct. 14 at Ferndale High School.
Ferndale’s Winterhawk Leighton drags Oak Harbor’s Taeson Hardin down for a loss Oct. 14 at Ferndale High School. eabell@bhamherald.com

Capital at Ferndale

The fifth-ranked Ferndale football team host Capital in the Class 3A quad-district playoffs Saturday, Nov. 5, at Civic Stadium. The winner receives the Northwest District No. 4 seed and will travel to face the Sea-King District No. 1 seed in the first round of the 3A state playoffs.

Time: 4 p.m.

Site: Civic Stadium

1105 FOOT Ferndale (3)

Scouting the Cougars: Capital wrapped up the regular season with its fourth straight win, a 42-14 victory over Shelton. Carson Bertelli threw for 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Chris Schnellman from 5 and 64 yards out in the game. Sophomore Regan Divina had an interception, as did Jack Collard, who returned his for a TD. The Cougars are seeking their first trip to state since 2013, when they lost to Lynden in the 2A state semifinals. Capital’s three losses this year came against 2A No. 7 River Ridge (35-22 on Sept. 2), 3A No. 10 Timberline (12-7 on Sept. 16) and 3A No. 8 Peninsula (15-12 on Sept. 30), so the Cougars have shown they can play with ranked competition.

Cougar to watch: Running back Nathan Tyler ran for 127 yards and two short touchdowns on 23 carries in the win over Shelton.

Capital’s key to victory: The Cougars will be the 10th team to attempt to slow Ferndale’s triple-headed rushing attack. Not even Squalicum was able to slow the talented trio, but if Capital can find a way, they could spoil what’s been an outstanding season for the Golden Eagles.

Scouting the Golden Eagles: Fifth-ranked Ferndale bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 42-7 win over Marysville Getchell. As they have all season, the Golden Eagles rode running backs Cole Semu (116 yards, TD), Justice Powell (65 yards, two TDs) and Ben Broselle (64 yards, TD) to the win. The trio has combined to amass 2,590 yards and 35 touchdowns while averaging a first down (10.0 yards) per carry. James Hinson has provided balance with 1,015 yards and 16 touchdowns through the air. Ferndale’s defense also has been strong this year, holding opponents to 239.3 yards of total offense per game.

Golden Eagle to watch: While Semu, Powell and Broselle are plenty talented, they’d be running for their lives without strong play up front. Winterhawk Leighton has been a big part of an offensive line that has opened holes big enough for the team to average 8.3 yards per carry this year. He also got in on the act, catching a pass for 7 yards last week.

Ferndale’s key to victory: Though Ferndale made a valiant second-half comeback against Squalicum two weeks ago, the Golden Eagles need to avoid falling behind early. If Ferndale jumps on top and build smomentum, it’s as tough to stop as a boulder running down a hill with Semu, Powell and Broselle slicing off large chunks of yardage.

Herald prediction: Ferndale 35-24

Related stories from Bellingham Herald