The defenses simply did not show up for the early game Friday at Civic Stadium. Call it “efense,” because there wasn’t any “D” on either side.
How else can you explain 155 combined points or 1,567 total yards of offense?
But in a game where the Squalicum and South Delta, B.C., football teams traded touchdown for touchdown at the speed of flyweight boxers exchanging blows, Jose Hernandez and the Storm defense landed the heavyweight hay-maker.
Despite quarterback Michael Calvert’s frustrating ability to elude the Squalicum rush and extend plays, Hernandez stuck with his man on a first-and-27 play from South Delta’s 15-yard line late in the third quarter, picked off Calvert’s heave down field and managed to tap a foot down at midfield right in front of the Squalicum bench.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Three plays later, Squalicum quarterback Spencer Lloyd scored from 14 yards out to give the Storm an eight-point lead, and they never trailed again in a crazy 85-70 victory.
“I knew that we needed a turnover, because it was just back and forth, and nobody was able to stop anybody,” Hernandez said. “So I told my DBs, ‘We need to get an interception or something to get the lead. We need to set the tone.’ ... Sure enough, he was scrambling around, and I was staying with my guy. He threw the ball, and I came up with the pick.”
Another turnover – this one on downs – on South Delta’s next possession, allowed Squalicum to build a 71-56 lead with 10:11 left – the first double-digit lead either team held in the game.
Squalicum senior Triston Smith followed his 300-yard, two-touchdown Week 1 performance by rushing for a jaw-dropping 445 yards and six TDs on 28 carries (15.9 average) Friday. Mount Baker’s Jed Schleimer (state-record 515 yards in 2015) and Blaine’s Mario Gobbato (480 yards in 2012) are the only Whatcom County backs with more in a single game.
Smith scored on runs of 7,1, 14, 42, 3 and 58 yards.
“Honestly, I’m just glad we got the W,” Smith said. “Proud of the O-line, proud of my teammates, quarterback, defense. I think we pulled through.”
South Delta started keying so heavily on Smith that Lloyd was able to run for 121 yards and two TDs on nine carries by just faking the ball to Smith. Lloyd also passed for 261 yards, including 157 yards and two TDs to Ja’Lique Martin.
With the exception of the interception, Calvert had a career night against the Storm defense, throwing for 654 yards and seven touchdowns. Even in meters, that’s a hefty total.
By halftime, he had completed 22 of 26 passes for 394 yards. He finished 40 for 52, as he repeatedly extended plays to find open targets.