High School Football

Nobody’s kept up with Meridian so far; here’s what the Trojans face in the first round

Meridian’s Lukas Hemenway scores a touchdown against Mount Baker during an Oct. 6 game. The Trojans host Hoquiam in the first round of the Class 1A State Playoffs Saturday at Civic Stadium.
Meridian’s Lukas Hemenway scores a touchdown against Mount Baker during an Oct. 6 game. The Trojans host Hoquiam in the first round of the Class 1A State Playoffs Saturday at Civic Stadium. eabell@bhamherald.com

Class 1A State Football Playoffs first round Hoquiam at Meridian

Time: 7 p.m. Saturday

Site: Civic Stadium, Bellingham

What’s at stake: Winner moves on to the 1A state quarterfinals and will host Charles Wright or Montesano Nov. 17 or 18. Loser is elminated.

Previous state playoff meetings: Hoquiam won a 2015 first-round meeting 25-20; Meridian won a 2003 first-round game 66-0.

1110 FOOT Meridian

SCOUTING THE GRIZZLIES

Coach: Jeremy McMillan (second season)

Seed: Southwest District No. 3

State appearances (last): 13 (2016)

State playoff record: 5-13

State titles: None

Hoquiam, which finished second in the Evergreen 1A League, beat Castle Rock 21-12 in the Southwest District playoffs Friday. The Grizzlies were held to 49 yards rushing by the Rockets, but senior quarterback Payton Quintanilla threw for two touchdowns and blocked a punt to set up one. Jackson Folkers and 6-foot-5 Rayyon Dayton caught Quintanilla’s TD throws, while Matt Brown, a 260-pound tackle who frequently shifts to the backfield, scored the third on the ground. Brady Cummings and Chewy Muro are two players to keep an eye on for a Grizzlies defense that did not allow a completed pass last week.

SCOUTING THE TROJANS

Coach: Bob Ames (44th season)

Seed: Northwest District No. 1

State appearances (last): 23 (2016)

State playoff record: 30-20

State titles: Three (1999, 2003, ’06)

After winning the 1A NWC title, Meridian blew past Cedar Park Christian 63-3 in the district playoffs Friday. Eastern Washington-bound Simon Burkett only needed to pass for 154 yards – his lowest total of the season – but had four TD throws and ran for another. Dawson Logan was his top target with two catches for 59 yards and two scores, though Lukas Hemenway and Tony Schleimer each snared a TD. Burkett has passed for 2,847 yards and 33 TDs this year. His top target is Bryce Vanderhaak, who has 1,191 yards and 18 TD catches. Cole Roberts (448 yards, 5 TDs) and Vanderhaak (403 yards, 4 TDs) have shared the rushing duties with Burkett (342, 6 TDs) this season.

Key to the game: With Burkett and all his weapons, the Trojans defense often gets overlooked, but it held CPC to 57 yards of total offense last week. With the numbers Meridian is capable of putting up offensively, if the defense can get a couple of big stops per game, it could take them far.

Prediction: Meridian 42-17.

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