Neah Bay at Lummi
For the eighth straight year, the Lummi and Neah Bay football teams will meet in the state playoffs. Neah Bay owns the edge 4-3 in previous meetings, but Lummi ended a losing streak with a victory in the state semifinals last year at the Tacoma Dome and also won a non-league meeting earlier this year.
Time: 4 p.m.
Site: Everett Memorial Stadium
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
Scouting the Red Devils
Coach: Tony McCaulley (ninth season, 98-13)
District: Northwest/Sea-King/West Central (No. 2 seed)
Previous state appearances: 17 (last in 2015)
State record: 24-14
State titles: Three (2011, ’13, ’14)
Red Devils update: No. 3 Neah Bay rolled through the state quarterfinals with a 66-26 win over Tacoma Baptist on Nov. 17. The Red Devils out gained the Crusaders 341 to 161 on the ground. The key was Neah Bay’s big, physical offensive line. Quarterback Rwehabura Munyagi also is plenty capable of making defenses pay, as he hit Cameron Buzzell for a 12-yard touchdown and ran for 5-, 23-, 1- and 7-yard TDs. Tommy Tyler also scored on a 4-yard run, and Buzzell returned a fumble 56 yards for a score. With that many weapons, it’s no wonder the Red Devils have scored at least 54 points in each of their last six games. But don’t overlook the Neah Bay defense, which has two shutouts this year and has held opponents under 10 points four times.
Player to watch: Running back Cole Svec gained 202 yards, scored a touchdown and caught three passes for 58 yards last week. Svec also returned a kickoff 58 yards for a TD and intercepted a pass. He’s an extremely talented back who could again take over against Lummi. Two years ago, he was selected the state’s 1B Player of the Year by a statewide panel of sports writers and he was a first-team all-state selection in 2015.
Key to the game: Neah Bay’s only loss this season came at the hands of Lummi, 36-30 on Sept. 9. The Blackhawks also won last year’s 1B state semifinal matchup between the two 26-20. In both games, the Blackhawks jumped out to a big early lead, scoring the first 18 points through three quarters last year and grabbing a 24-6 halftime lead in September. If Neah Bay can avoid a slow start, the Red Devils just might turn the rivalry back in their favor.
Scouting the Blackhawks
Coach: Jim Sandusky (14th season, 138-34)
District: Northwest/Sea-King/West Central (No. 1 seed)
Previous state appearances: 12 (last in 2015)
State record: 17-11
State titles: One (2010)
Blackhawks update: Top-ranked Lummi rolled through the first round of the 1B state playoffs with a 56-16 victory over Naselle on Friday. The Borsey twins led the way with 529 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns. Free Borsey rushed for 101 yards and two TDs, passed for 71 yards and a score and had 28 yards receiving. Raven Borsey rushed for 71 yards and a TD, passed for 20 yards, caught a 59-yard TD and returned a fumble recovery and a kickoff for TDs. Caleb Revey was the top receiver with three catches for 75 yards. Offensively, the Blackhawks have shown good balance this year, rushing for 2,129 yards and 34 TDs and passing for 2,100 yards and 29 scores. The Lummi defense also had another strong game last week, limiting the Comets to 155 yards rushing, and 79 yards and two TDs passing.
Player to watch: Though Free Borsey has thrown for 756 yards this season, Dashawn Lawrence has emerged as the Blackhawks’ top quarterback, passing for 1,100 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. He’s been intercepted just three times and has hit 40 of 59 pass attempts. As if that weren’t enough, he has rushed for 232 yards and two touchdowns. If he can have a good game getting the ball in the hands of the Borseys, Lummi will be tough to beat.
Key to the game: As good as last year’s semifinal win felt for Lummi, the Blackhawks don’t have to remember too far back to a time when they couldn’t get over the hump against Neah Bay. This is the eighth consecutive year the rivals have met in the state playoffs, and the Red Devils won four in a row before last year. The key in those games: Lummi miscues. Last week, the Blackhawks committed five turnovers against Naselle. Though the turnover ratio finished even, Lummi must clean that up if it has any hope of returning to the state title game.