High School Football

Think the first time through the 1A NWC was rough? Round 2 starts tonight

Meridian coach Bob Ames talks with his players during an Oct. 6 game against Mount Baker.
Meridian coach Bob Ames talks with his players during an Oct. 6 game against Mount Baker. eabell@bhamherald.com

Crescent at Lummi

Time: 6 p.m. Friday

Site: Lummi Nation School

Loggers (3-3, 1-1 NWFL 1B) update: Crescent picked up its first league win of the year 68-27 over Clallam Bay Friday. Noah Leonard rushed for 221 yards and three touchdowns in the game, as he passed the 1,000-yard barrier this season. K.C. Spencer provided a valuable second option, rushing for 96 yards, including TD runs of 53 and 31 yards. Spencer also passed for a pair of scores.

Caleb Revey
Caleb Revey

Blackhawks (5-2, 0-1 NWFL 1B) update: Lummi dropped its first league game of the year 26-14 to Tulalip Heritage on Thursday, but rebounded two days later to claim a 20-18 win at Concrete on Saturday. Since scoring 58 points against Tacoma Baptist, the Blackhawks have been held to 40 points combined their last three games – two of which were losses.

Key to the game: Lummi can’t afford another loss in league play, especially against a team it already trails in the standings. Obviously, they’ll need to play a complete game to come away with a victory.

Player to watch: The Blackhawks need to get their usually potent offense going, and Caleb Revey could be the just the guy to help them do that.

Prediction: Lummi 28-20.

Lynden Christian at Meridian

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Meridian High School

Lyncs (3-3, 1-2 1A NWC) update: Lynden Christian kept itself in the middle of the postseason race with a 28-14 win over Nooksack Valley Friday. Jordan Riddle rushed for 170 yards and a TD in the game, while Ty Van Dyken rushed for 100 yards and had touchdown throws to Kalai Jandoc, Michael Lancaster and Zach Sipma. The LC defense also held Casey Bauman to a season-low 145 yards passing.

Manny Sabalza
Manny Sabalza

Trojans (6-0, 3-0 1A NWC) update: No. 3 Meridian took control of the race for the 1A NWC title with a 26-15 victory over Mount Baker Friday. Simon Burkett passed for 311 yards and two touchdowns and even caught a 21-yard pass. Whatcom County receiving leader Bryce Vandenhaak had two catches for 66 yards and a TD, while Harlon Stuit caught three passes for 31 yards and a TD and Tony Schleimer produced 76 yards on two catches.

Key to the game: Burkett passed for 294 yards and two touchdowns in the 28-7 win by the Trojans in the first meeting Sept. 22. If LC can find a way to slow him up like it did Bauman last week, the Lyncs have got a shot.

Player to watch: Meridian limited Mount Baker to 4.5 yards per carry – nearly half its season average – and it will be tested again by Riddle. The Trojans need big play from Manny Sabalza and the rest of the guys in the trenches.

Prediction: Meridian 31-17.

Nooksack Valley at Mount Baker

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Mount Baker High School

Pioneers (4-2, 1-2 1A NWC) update: No. 10 Nooksack Valley dropped its second straight, falling 28-14 against Lynden Christian Friday. Casey Bauman passed for 145 yards and a TD and rushed for 68 yards in the game. Austin O’Brien was the Pioneers’ top rusher with 74 yards and a TD. Baylor Gallery caught three passes for 76 yards, while Ryan Veening caught three for 28 yards and a TD.

Thomas Barbo
Thomas Barbo

Mountaineers (4-2, 1-2 1A NWC) update: No. 9 Mount Baker suffered a 26-15 loss at Meridian Friday. Carson Engholm rushed for 104 yards and and a TD on 14 carries, and Sam Barrett added 95 yards on 21 carries. Carson Brandland also caught a TD pass from Kaleb Bass, who threw for 130 yards but was intercepted twice. The Mountaineers allowed 340 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

Key to the game: Nooksack Valley limited Mount Baker to 216 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in the first meeting – a game the Pioneers won 26-14. They’ll need a similar effort to record the season series sweep.

Player to watch: Mount Baker’s Thomas Barbo caught seven passes for 102 yards last week, but he will be just as vital on defense, as the Mountaineers attempt to slow up Bauman and the Pioneers aerial attack.

Prediction: Mount Baker 28-27.

Anacortes at Lynden

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Lynden High School

Seahawks (3-3, 1-2 2A NWC) update: Anacortes’ modest two-game win streak came to an end Friday with a 37-7 loss to Lakewood. Payton Beaner scored Anacortes’ lone touchdown on a 7-yard run. Trystan Lowry leads Skagit County with 953 yards passing and 15 TDs and is fifth with 342 yards rushing. Tyler Blouin (508 yards) and Jake Hendricks (239) are his top targets.

James Marsh
James Marsh

Lions (3-3, 2-2, 2A NWC) update: Lynden ended a two-game losing streak with a 35-12 win over Blaine Friday. Eric Martin Mann rushed for 65 yards on eight carries, while Aaron Weidenaar and Kobe Elsner each snared touchdown passes. The Lions defense, meanwhile, limited Blaine to 3.4 yards per carry, and Elsner and Gage Bates each intercepted a pass, giving Lynden eight picks this year.

Key to the game: The Lions can’t afford a slip up, as it tries to work its way back into the 2A NWC postseason race. They’ll once again need to rely on their bend-but-don’t-break defense to keep the Seahawks off the scoreboard.

Player to watch: James Marsh has established himself as a play maker for Lynden the past two weeks, rushing for 244 yards and four touchdowns and passing for 229 yards and two more more scores during that time.

Prediction: Lynden 35-17.

Blaine at Lakewood

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Lakewood High School

Julian Gonzalez
Julian Gonzalez

Borderites (0-6, 0-4 2A NWC) update: Blaine is still searching for its first victory of the year following a 35-12 loss to Lynden Friday. The Borderites allowed Lynden to rush for 230 yards and three TDs on 27 carries (8.5 average). Cam Ellis passed for 143 yards, but was intercepted twice. Dalton Mouw was his top target with six catches for 67 yards, while Cruz Rodriguez hauled in four passes for 50 yards.

Cougars (5-1, 3-0 2A NWC) update: No. 10 Lakewood took sole posession of first place in the 2A NWC for the first time since joining the league in 2016 with a 37-7 victory over Anacortes Friday. Quarterback Austin Lane set a school passing record with 409 yards and threw for five touchdowns. George Toponce was his top target with six catches for 124 yards and three TDs, while Black Funston had 119 yards and a TD on five catches.

Key to the game: Blaine is going to have to tighten up its run defense to help it stay close against the 2A NWC-leading Cougars and give itself a shot to notch its first victory of the year.

Player to watch: Julian Gonzalez has burst onto the scene for the Borderites the past two weeks, rushing for 91 yards and a TD in Week 5 against Anacortes and 164 yards and two TDs on 41 carriers last week against Lynden.

Prediction: Lakewood 24-13.

Ferndale at Oak Harbor

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Oak Harbor High School

Alex Cleary
Alex Cleary

Golden Eagles (6-0, 3-0 3A Wesco North) update: No. 2 Ferndale cruised to its sixth win with a 35-3 victory over Stanwood Friday. Cole Semu led the way, rushing for 209 yards and three touchdowns on 20 attempts. Jacob Brosell had 151 yards and two TDs on 10 carries, while Gabe Zwade added 101 yards on 14 carries. The Ferndale defense also limited the Spartans to one first down in the first half.

Wildcats (6-0, 3-0 3A Wesco North) update: No. 8 Oak Harbor stayed perfect with a 49-7 win over Marysville-Getchell Friday. Mackenzie Nauanez ran for 137 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, and Taeson Hardin added two more scores and rushed for 184 yards on eight carries. The Wildcats attempted only five passes for 18 yards in the game, but Kyle Nickols did have a TD reception.

Key to the game: This one is going to come down to who can slow up their opponent’s ground game. Oak Harbor rushed for 465 yards and six TDs last week and averaged 10.3 yards per carry. Ferndale rushed for 539 yards and five scores, averaging 9.5 yards per attempt.

Player to watch: Linebacker Alex Cleary and the entire Ferndale defensive front seven will be asked to slow up a very talented Wildcat running game. If they can do so, the Golden Eagles will control the road to the 3A Wesco North title.

Prediction: Ferndale 35-20.

Marysville-Getchell at Squalicum

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Civic Stadium

Chargers (0-6, 0-4 3A Wesco North) update: Marysville-Getchell stayed winless with a 49-7 loss to Oak Harbor Friday. After allowing the first 49 points in the game, the Chargers avoided the shutout with a 6-yard TD pass from Caleb Koellmer to Trey Padgett. Getchell managed only two first downs that didn’t come by penalty and were held to 34 yards of total offense.

Jalique Martin
Jalique Martin

Storm (4-2, 1-2 3A Wesco North) update: Squalicum ended its two-game slide with a 21-13 non-league win over Snohomish Saturday. Triston Smith did not play in the game, but the Storm still rushed for 319 yards, including 165 on 27 carries by Devante Powell. Spencer Lloyd rushed for 65 yards and a score and passed for another. Dedrick Mitchell caught four passes for 33 yards and a TD.

Key to the game: Squalicum’s defense started to come of age last week, as it held Snohomish without a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter. The unit needs to keep showing improvement this week as it prepares for tougher opponents the next two weeks.

Player to watch: JaLique Martin last week rushed eight times for 85 yards, completed 7 of 16 passes for 62 yards and a TD in his first extensive action at quarterback and caught four passes for 63 yards and TD. He even had his second interception of the year on defense.

Prediction: Squalicum 42-10.