High School Football

Playoffs start early for these 4 Whatcom football teams; 6 others have plenty to play for

Nooksack Valley takes the field before its game against Meridian Oct. 20. The Pioneers are one of four Whatcom County football teams seeking to earn a playoff spot in Week 9.
Nooksack Valley takes the field before its game against Meridian Oct. 20. The Pioneers are one of four Whatcom County football teams seeking to earn a playoff spot in Week 9. eabell@bhamherald.com

Sehome at Shorewood

Time: 5 p.m. Friday

Site: Shoreline Stadium

Dylan Roberts
Dylan Roberts

Mariners (2-6) update: Sehome won its second straight, beating Granite Falls 46-28 Friday. Michael Mindnich led the way for the Mariners, rushing for 120 yards and three TDs and throwing for 100 yards and another score. Melloy Nelson caught that TD as part of a four-catch, 58-yard performance, while Jay Travier had two catches for 24 yards.

Thunderbirds (3-4) update: Shorewood, which like Sehome is playing a independent schedule in 2017, suffered a 31-26 loss to Blaine Friday. The Thunderbirds managed to force the Borderites to punt late in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t produce any points on the game’s final possession. Shorewood allowed 213 yards rushing in the game.

Key to the game: Sehome is seeking its first three-game win streak since the Mariners won the last two games of the 2012 season against Bellingham and Sammamish and the first game of 2013 against Nooksack Valley.

Player to watch: Dylan Roberts has been a workhorse for Sehome. Last week he rushed for 144 yards and three TDs on 25 carries, giving him 554 yards and 10 TDs this season.

Prediction: Sehome 31-17.

Lummi at Neah Bay

Time: 6 p.m. Friday

Site: Clallam Bay High School

Dashawn Lawrence
Dashawn Lawrence

Blackhawks (6-3, 1-1 NWFL 1B) update: Lummi lost 23-6 to Friday Harbor in an 11-man game Friday. The Blackhawks were hurt by mistakes on both sides of the ball, especially missed assignments on defense and bad snaps on offense. Stanford Hoskins and James Williams made a number of big tackles on defense, though. Lummi won a non-league meeting with Neah Bay 28-0 on Sept. 8.

Red Devils (4-4, 2-0 NWFL 1B) update: Neah Bay beat Tulalip Heritage 44-18 Friday to clinch at least a share of the 1B NWFL title. The Red Devils lost their third quarterback of the season to injury when Meric Soeneke went down. Leroy Greene caught a 7-yard TD pass and rushed for 99 yards and 3 TDs. Isaiah Knaus rushed for 154 yards and threw for three TDs.

Key to the game: A win by Lummi by 14 or more points would give it the top seed into the quad-district playoffs and a bye to Nov. 10 or 11. The Blackhawks still are alive without a two-touchdown win, but things get complicated.

Player to watch: Lummi quarterback DaShawn Lawrence was held out of last week’s game after tweaking his shoulder. If he can return, the Blackhawks’ offense should run smoother.

Prediction: Lummi 24-10.

Nooksack Valley at Lynden Christian

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Lynden Christian

Pioneers (4-4, 1-4 1A NWC) update: Nooksack Valley suffered its fourth straight loss, falling 28-27 to Meridian Friday. Casey Bauman had a big game in his final appearance at home, passing for 228 yards and a TD and rushing for 98 yards and three TDs. Baylor Galley was his top receiver with four catches for 128 yards and a TD, while Jordan Veening caught three for 63 yards.

George De Jong
George De Jong

Lyncs (3-5, 1-4 1A NWC) update: Lynden Christian let another one slip away late to Mount Baker in a 18-14 loss Friday. A Mount Baker TD with 27 seconds remaining proved to be the difference. Jordan Riddle rushed for 208 yards and two touchdowns, with most of it coming after halftime. The rest of the LC skill position players produced just 38 yards of offense.

Key to the game: The playoffs start now – the winner of this game survives to face Sultan in the district playoffs next weekend, while the loser is eliminated. LC claimed the first meeting 28-14, as the Lyncs’ stingy defense allowed just 194 yards.

Player to watch: George De Jong was a physical presence up front for the Lyncs in last week’s win, and a similar effort certainly would help LC in its most important game of the year so far.

Prediction: Lynden Christian 28-24.

Meridian at Mount Baker

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Mount Baker High School

Trojans (8-0, 5-0 1A NWC) update: Meridian held on for a 28-27 win at Nooksack Valley Friday, clinching the outright 1A NWC title and the top seed into the district playoffs. Bryce Vandenhaak had another huge game, rushing for 131 yards and catching six passes for 135 yards and three TDs. Cole Roberts ran for the other score, while Simon Burkett passed for 220 yards and two TDs.

Kaleb Bass
Kaleb Bass

Mountaineers (6-2, 3-2 1A NWC) update: Carson Brandland scored on an 8-yard run with 27 seconds remaining, and Mount Baker locked up the No. 2 seed to the district playoffs with a 18-14 win at Lynden Christian Friday. Brandland rushed for 106 yards, while Carson Engholm had 123 yards and two TDs. Thomas Barbo caught three passes for 56 yards, while the defense allowed just 13 passing yards.

Key to the game: Mount Baker’s defense was exceptional against the run in the first half, too, LC coach Dan Kaemingk said, forcing the Lyncs to make halftime adjustments. The Mountaineers need a similar effort against a Meridian offense averaging 33.6 points per game.

Player to watch: Kaleb Bass passed for 130 yards and a TD in the first meeting with Meridian, which the Trojans won 26-15. If he can cut down on the two interceptions, he could give the Mountaineers an edge in a game that has no playoff implications but each team would love to win.

Prediction: Meridian 27-21.

Burlington-Edison at Blaine

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Blaine High School

Tigers (5-3, 4-1 2A NWC) update: Burlington-Edison clinched one of the 2A NWC’s three playoff spots with a 33-13 victory over Lynden Friday. The Tigers rushed for 265 yards in the game and scored the game’s first 26 points, as they ended a decade-long losing streak to the Lions. Quyntin Frazier rushed for 221 yards and four TDs.

Brian Davis
Brian Davis

Borderites (1-7, 0-5 2A NWC) update: Blaine picked up its first victory of the year, beating Shorewood 31-26 Friday. Julian Gonzalez was the catalyst for the Borderites, rushing for 216 yards and two TDs, which gave him 673 yards and six TDs in four weeks of work. He also returned a kickoff for a TD and nearly broke another. Cam Ellis threw for 86 yards and a TD to Cruz Rodriguez.

Key to the game: Unfortunately for Blaine, this one means something to the Tigers, who find themselves in a three-way tie with Sedro-Woolley and Lakewood. But, with a strong performance, the Borderites could play spoiler.

Player to watch: Junior Brian Davis was one of a number of Blaine players forced into action because of injury. He responded with an interception while playing a position he had not practiced all week.

Prediction: Burlington-Edison 35-21.

Lakewood at Bellingham

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Civic Stadium

Cougars (6-2, 4-1 2A NWC) update: Lakewood suffered its first 2A NWC loss of the season 41-0 at Sedro-Woolley Friday. The Cougars allowed Codey Pittis to rush for 202 yards and three touchdowns, while Davis Mihelich had 159 yards and two scores. Lakewood also gained only 175 yards (33 rushing) and turned the ball over four times.

Ethan Berschauer
Ethan Berschauer

Red Raiders (4-4, 2-3 2A NWC) update: Bellingham’s every-other-week routine this year continued with a 20-7 victory at Anacortes Friday. Connor Wallace rushed for 78 yards and a TD, while Spencer Lee caught seven passes for 77 yards and a score. Nick Knutson passed for 221 yards and two TDs, and Bellingham didn’t allow a score until late.

Key to the game: Just like Blaine, the Red Raiders find themselves playing one of the three 2A NWC teams battling for playoff positioning. But Bellingham also has something to play for, as a win would give them five – one more than it had last year.

Player to watch: Bellingham’s Ethan Berschauer had a big game last week, catching three passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. He’s caught 15 passes for 183 yards and two TDs this season.

Prediction: Lakewood 34-24.

Lynden at Eastlake

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Eastlake High School, Sammamish

Trey LaBounty
Trey LaBounty

Lions (4-4) update: Lynden’s hopes of earning a 2A NWC berth into the district playoffs disappeared with a 33-13 loss at Burlington-Edison Friday. The Lions allowed 265 yards rushing in the game. James Marsh passed for 146 yards and two TDs but was intercepted twice. Aaron Weidenaar caught a TD pass for the third straight week, and Carson Bode caught one for a second straight game.

Gray Wolves (5-3) update: Eastlake, which plays in the 4A Kingco, beat Inglemoor 38-7 Saturday. The Gray Wolves limited the Vikings to 220 yards of total offense, 77 of which came on Ingelmoor’s lone score. They also got an interception and limited the Vikings to 2.9 yards per rush attempt.

Key to the game: Lynden can’t get caught scoreboard watching. While the Lions 2A NWC playoff race, they could get a berth into the 2A Northwest District Playoffs from the “South” if their RPI is higher than Granite Falls and Mountlake Terrace. A loss by each of those schools might be enough to help the Lions advance.

Player to watch: Lynden offensive lineman/defensive end Trey LaBounty has been busy the past two weeks, visiting Portland State and Washington State. He plays a big role for the Lions on both sides of the ball.

Prediction: Eastlake 21-20.

Ferndale at Marysville-Getchell

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: QuilCeda Stadium, Marysville

Conner Obergottsberger
Conner Obergottsberger

Golden Eagles (8-0, 5-0 3A Wesco North) update: Ferndale locked up the top seed out of the 3A Wesco North and at least a share of its first league title since 2008 with a 48-0 win over Squalicum Friday. Cole Semu led the way, rushing for 181 yards and five TDs. James Hinson passed for 78 yards, including a 39-yard score, and Sean Gomes rushed for a TD.

Chargers (0-8, 0-5 3A Wesco North) update: Marysville-Getchell took a break from 3A Wesco North play and suffered a 30-13 loss to Lynnwood. The Chargers scored more than 20 points only once – in their season opener – and have allowed 44.6 points per game. The 30 points allowed to Lynnwood was a new season low.

Key to the game: With nothing to gain playoff-wise for Ferndale, the biggest goals for the Golden Eagles against a winless opponent are to stay healthy and stay sharp for the postseason.

Player to watch: Ferndale’s Conner Obergottsberger caught a touchdown pass for the third time in four weeks, giving him a team-high five this season on just six catches.

Prediction: Ferndale 55-0.