High School Football

First Friday in October features a number of big football games in Whatcom County

Meridian quarterback Simon Burkett looks for running room against Nooksack Valley during Friday’s game in Laurel.
Meridian quarterback Simon Burkett looks for running room against Nooksack Valley during Friday’s game in Laurel. eabell@bhamherald.com

Lynden Christian at Nooksack Valley

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Nooksack Valley High School

Lyncs (2-3, 0-2 1A NWC) update: A late comeback was all that kept Lynden Christian from picking up its first 1A NWC victory since 2015 in Friday’s 27-21 loss at Mount Baker. Quarterback Ty Van Dyken threw for 247 yards and a TD and rushed for 46 yards and another score. His top target was Kalia Jandoc, who snared seven passes for 172 yards and a TD, while Jordan Riddle ran for 151 yards and a TD.

Baylor Galley
Baylor Galley

Pioneers (4-1, 1-1 1A NWC) update: Nooksack Valley fell behind early and suffered its first loss of the year 50-36 at Meridian Friday. Casey Bauman passed for 335 yards and four touchdowns, but was intercepted twice. Kyle Veldman led the way with 110 yards and a TD on seven catches, while Jordan Veening caught six passes for 50 yards and a score. Austin O’Bryan rushed for a team-high 50 yards on 11 carries.

Key to the game: Lynden Christian hasn’t shown the firepower to keep up with Nooksack Valley’s high-scoring offense when it gets rolling, so it is imperative the Lyncs defense slow up the Pioneers. If the game stays in the 20s, LCs got a great chance.

Player to watch: Though he’s been productive all season, Nooksack’s Baylor Galley had a breakout game last week, catching eight passes for 109 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He’s second on the team with 288 yards and three TDs this year.

Prediction: Nooksack Valley 35-24.

Mount Baker at Meridian

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Meridian High School

Mountaineers (4-1, 1-1 1A NWC) update: Mount Baker had to come back to beat Lynden Christian 27-21 in the first game on the new grass surface at Bob Tisdale Field Friday. Carson Engholm led the way, rushing for 169 yards and three touchdowns, including the game winner in the fourth quarter. Kaleb Bass passed for 78 yards and a TD, all to Thomas Barbo, while Sam Barrett rushed for 69 yards.

Lukas Hemenway
Lukas Hemenway

Trojans (5-0, 2-0 1A NWC) update: Meridian jumped on top early in a highly anticipated meeting with Nooksack Valley and held on for a 50-36 victory Friday. Bryce Vandenhaak had another big game, catching seven passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns and adding 65 yards on eight rushes. Simon Burkett passed for 352 yards and four TDs and rushed for 67 yards, while Cole Roberts rushed for 45 yards and two scores.

Key to the game: The Mount Baker defense has allowed 424.5 yards of total offense, including 248.0 through the air, the past two weeks. How well it is able to slow up Burkett and the Trojans attack could end up deciding this one.

Player to watch: Meridian’s Lukas Hemenway showed he’s a valuable option for the Trojans offense last week, catching a season-high six passes for 126 yards and a TD against the Pioneers.

Prediction: Meridian 31-27.

Bellingham at Sehome

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Civic Stadium

Red Raiders (2-3) update: Bellingham suffered a 38-14 loss at Burlington-Edison Friday. In his second week back since returning from injury, quarterback Nick Knutson threw for 225 yards and a TD in the game. His top target was Ethan Fields (8 catches, 119 yards, TD), while Spencer Lee caught five passes for 72 yards. Connor Wallace led the way on the ground with 32 yards and a TD on eight carries.

Melloy Nelson
Melloy Nelson

Mariners (0-5) update: Sehome continued to improve, but fell 47-28 at King’s Friday. Michael Mindnich passed for 229 yards and a season-high four touchdowns, but was intercepted twice. He also rushed for a team-high 35 yards. Brett Meggyesy caught three passes for 28 yards and TD, while Matt Fisher grabbed his first three passes of 2017 for 38 yards.

Key to the game: Though this is a non-league game, with Sehome playing an independent schedule in 2017, it’s a rivalry game, which means all bets are off. Both teams desperately want a win, even if it is just for bragging rights.

Player to watch: Melloy Nelson had a big game for the Mariners last week, catching five passes for 112 yards and three touchdowns. That gives him a team-high 260 yards and five scores.

Prediction: Bellingham 35-27.

Lynden at Blaine

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Blaine High School

Lions (2-3, 1-2 2A NWC) update: Six turnovers were too many for Lynden to overcome in a 26-14 loss to Lakewood Friday. Quarterbacks Brock Heppner and James Marsh combined to go 10 for 22 for 123 yards and four interceptions, but each rushed for a TD. Marsh rushed for 119 yards on 20 carries. Kobe Elsner was the top receiver with five catches for 63 yards, while Cory Warner caught four passes for 51 yards.

Jacob Westfall
Jacob Westfall

Borderites (0-5, 0-3 2A NWC) update: A furious comeback wasn’t quite enough, as Blaine fell 36-30 to Anacortes Friday. Blaine’s defense struggled a bit in the first half, coach Jay Dodd said, but tightened in the second, allowing 450 total yards. A fourth-quarter blocked punt for a touchdown and a 40-yard TD pass from Cam Ellis to Chase Abshere got the Borderites back in the game, but they just ran out of time.

Key to the game: With the losses to Sedro-Woolley and Lakewood the past two weeks, it marked the first time since 2003 Lynden has dropped back-to-back games in the same season. The Lions still can make the district playoffs, but they can’t afford any more setbacks.

Player to watch: Blaine’s Jacob Westfall played very well at linebacker, according to Dodd, “He’s becoming a good leader of our defense.”

Prediction: Lynden 38-28.

Stanwood at Ferndale

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Ferndale High School

Spartans (2-3, 2-1 3A Wesco North) update: Stanwood won its second straight, beating Marysville-Getchell 48-14 Friday. The Spartans scored the first 40 points of the game. Tyler Rich rushed for 148 yards and two TDs on 20 carries. Sam Delich had a 46-yard punt return for a TD, Trygve DeBoer returned an interception 59 yards for a TD and Bill Wanambisi had a 93-yard TD reception.

Geiran Hatchett
Geiran Hatchett

Golden Eagles (5-0, 2-0 3A Wesco North) update: Ferndale rolled to another victory, topping Marysville-Pilchuck 46-7 Friday. The Golden Eagles got dominating play from their lines on both sides of the ball, allowing quarterback James Hinson to run for a pair of TDs and throw for two more. Cole Semu also scored two TDs, giving him 14 this season.

Key to the game: Ferndale has got to take Stanwood seriously, as this is not the same team the Golden Eagles beat 55-14 last year. The Spartans shocked Squalicum at Civic Stadium last week and played Oak Harbor tough in a 19-7 Week 3 loss.

Player to watch: Though only a sophomore, Ferndale lineman Geirean Hatchett is already drawing plenty of interest. He visited Oregon State last weekend and last month learned that he was selected to the U.S. Under-17 National Team to play in International Bowl IX this winter in Texas.

Prediction: Ferndale 45-21.