High School Football

What the scoreboard wouldn’t show: ‘We weren’t playing with all our arrows in the quiver’

Almira-Coulee-Hartline’s Brayton Schafer, right, breaks a tackle by Lummi's James Williams on Saturday, Nov. 25, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham.
Almira-Coulee-Hartline’s Brayton Schafer, right, breaks a tackle by Lummi's James Williams on Saturday, Nov. 25, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham. eabell@bhamherald.com

The scoreboard at Civic Stadium wouldn’t power up, and that might have been the kindest thing that happened to the Lummi football team Saturday during the Class 1B state semifinals.

What the completely dark tower above the west end zone would not power up to show is just how dominant Almira-Coulee-Hartline was. The Warriors left little doubt on the field, though, as they unceremoniously escorted the Blackhawks to the exit with a 60-6 loss. Hayden Loomis accounted for four touchdowns – two on long pass receptions and two on the ground – in the first half, alone, and ACH started the running clock less than 15 minutes into the game – if anybody had been able to see it.

Lummi (9-4) coach Jim Sandusky said he had a few premonitions that things wouldn’t go well for his team, which fell one game short of playing for a state title for the second straight year.

“We had some injuries this week that just came up out of nowhere,” Sandusky said., adding that four two-way starters were limited. “We weren’t playing with all our arrows in the quiver.”

Making matters worse, Sanduksy said, is the Blackhawks just didn’t seem to have a good week in practice, and that definitely carried over Saturday.

“The last few days of practice weren’t our best,” Sandusky said. “I kind of had an inkling that we’d be in trouble if we didn’t come out on fire.”

And Lummi certainly did not appear to come out with much fire.

The Blackhawks’ first four drives did not produce a first down and netted negative-25 yards in total offense. And that’s not counting the the safety the Warriors were able to record on a bad fourth-down snap inside the Lummi 10.

1125 Lummi FOOT 1
Almira-Coulee-Hartline’s Payton Nielsen, left, and Parker Zappone, center, chase down Lummi’s Dashawn Lawrence on Saturday, Nov. 25, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham. Evan Abell eabell@bhamherald.com

The Blackhawks finally had a positive play midway through the second quarter, when Lincoln Tom found Caleb Revey for 40 yards to the ACH 12, but not even that ended up producing points.

“It was just not our day – you could just tell,” Sandusky said. “Overall we just didn’t have that fire. I was trying to get them going.”

ACH, meanwhile, had no such troubles.

After mishandling the opening kickoff and recovering at their own 7, the Warriors drove 93 yards on eight plays, capped off by Maguire Isaak’s 43-yard touchdown pass to Gage Burchill.

Isaak added a 41-yard run on the Warriors’ second possession to make it 14-0, before connecting with Loomis on 31- and 51-yard TD strikes. Those touchdowns, plus the safety made it 32-0 at the end of the first.

In the second, Loomis added a 2-yard run to start the running clock with 9:13 left before halftime, before tacking on an 80-yard sprint on the final play of the half.

In the second half, the Warroris added a pick-6 by lineman Tim Hahn and a19-yard run by Brayton Schafer.

All that remained to be seen was whether the Blackhawks could avoid being shut out for the first time in Sandusky’s 15-year tenure.

“I don’t remember ever being shut out,” said Sandusky, who certainly had not been blanked in his first 30 state playoff games.

That streak stretched to 31 games on the final play, as Noah Toby’s halfback option pass found Miguel Ortez in the end zone.

While Saturday’s result certainly wasn’t what Lummi hoped for, the fact that the Blackhawks advanced to the state semifinals for a sixth straight year in what could be considered a transition year after some big losses to graduation. The Blackhawks lose eight seniors off this year’s roster, most notably Lawrence, Toby, Stanford Hoskins, James Williams and Jacob Washington.

“If you’d have asked me at the beginning of the year if we’d make the semifinals, I’d have been pretty surprised,” Sandusky said.

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