The Squalicum football team's largest concern two weeks into the season may be the fact its starters have yet to play a full four quarters.
Not a bad problem to have.
After earning a season-opening lopsided win against Bellingham, the Storm put on another offensive showcase against Class 1A's No. 8-ranked Meridian, earning a 48-14 non-conference win Friday, Sept. 12, in Laurel.
Senior quarterback Christian Jorgensen, who finished 11 of 18 for 280 yards and four TD tosses, led the Storm on six first-half touchdown drives, and had little trouble getting the ball into the hands of Squalicum's athletic wide receivers.
"It was going to be tough sledding running it inside," Storm coach Nick Lucey said, who credited his offensive line for keeping the offense moving. "They are telling you to throw outside, and we got a pretty good crew out there, and Christian had a ball game. He made some big-time throws."
Sophomore Ben Peterson, who was celebrating a birthday, caught four passes for 122 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown. He also ran for a 47-yard score on an end-around.
Damek Mitchell had 106 receiving yards and did most of the work on a 26-yard touchdown pass, and Josiah Westbrook hauled in two touchdowns to go with his 40 yards receiving.
While Jorgensen placed balls well throughout the night, Mitchell and Peterson put together some highlight-reel-worthy, run-after-catch performances.
Meridian's secondary couldn't come up with tackles, and the Storm receivers took advantage.
"We've been talking about that early this season and fall camp, about how we have so many athletes," Jorgensen said, "and I think tonight it showed. They are really fast, and for me it's literally catch the ball, throw it and then watch them do their thing."
Squalicum, which is averaging 51.5 points through the first two weeks, didn't waste time building a lead on Meridian.
The Storm took the ball on its first possession 58 yards in four plays and ended the drive in less than one minute with a 2-yard fade route to Westbrook in the back left of Meridian's end zone.
Following a turnover on downs, Jorgensen quickly hooked up with Westbrook for a 30-yard TD strike to put Squalicum on top 13-0 with 5:14 left in the first quarter.
The Storm's next three scores came fast and furious.
In a span of 4:06 early in the second quarter, Nick Manchester scored on a 5-yard TD run, Mitchell caught a 26-yard touchdown from Jorgensen and linebacker Creighton Kaui intercepted an errant Tanner Tutterrow pass and returned it 35 yards for a score that put Squalicum on top 34-0.
Meridian moved the ball in the first half but turned it over twice on downs, three times on fumbles and once through the air.
"Doug Trainor is our defensive coordinator, and I couldn't be luckier to have him on our staff," Lucey said. "He's kind of brought a reckless-abandon mentality to our guys, and our guys have bought into it."
Squalicum's defense forced six total turnovers, and Meridian didn't score until the fourth quarter when the Storm's No. 2s were playing.
Squalicum built a 48-0 halftime lead, and the Trojans opted to play Marcus McGuinn at quarterback in the second half.
The Meridian junior was impressive, completing 12 of 14 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with Daniel Young for a 48-yard touchdown pass on a beautiful long throw, and McGuinn threw a 15-yard TD pass to Nick Miller for his second score.
Squalicum gets a great test next week when it hosts Lynden at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at Civic Stadium. Meridian hosts Chelan next at the same time and date.
Sq — Josiah Westbrook 2 pass from Christian Jorgensen (kick fail)
Sq — Westbrook 30 pass from Jorgensen (Quinn Carpenter kick)
Sq — Nick Manchester 5 run (Carpenter kick)
Sq — Damek Mitchell 26 pass from Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
Sq — Creighton Kaui 35 interception return (Carpenter kick)
Sq — Ben Peterson 47 run (Carpenter kick)
Sq — Peterson 40 pass from Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
Mer — Daniel Young 48 pass from Marcus McGuinn (Kevin Castro run)
Mer — Nick Miller 15 pass from McGuinn (run fail)
MeridianFirst downs2019Rushing Att-yards26-16012-43Comp-Att-Int11-18-026-40-1Passing yards280310Penalties-yards10-812-10Fumbles-lost1-05-5
RUSHING — Squalicum: Jordan Campbell 5-48, Nick Manchester 5-21, Christian Jorgensen 5-28, Ben Peterson 1-47, Carlos Hernandez 3-6, Ashton Dial 2-5, Darious Powell 2-3, Will Nickelson 1-5, Mac Walker 1-2, LeAndrew Alarcon 1-(-5). Meridian: Koby Smith 6-21, Dakota Jones 3-8, Isaiah Thompson 1-9, Marcus McGuinn 1-14, Tanner Tutterrow 1-(-9).
PASSING — Squalicum: Christian Jorgensen 11-18-280-0. Meridian: Tanner Tutterrow 14-26-146-1; Marcus McGuinn 12-14-164-0 .
RECEIVING — Squalicum: Ben Peterson 4-122, Damek Mitchell 3-106, Josiah Westbrook 3-40, Coleman Schwab 1-12. Meridian: Nick Miller 6-52, Daniel Young 4-82, Dakota Jones 4-54, Marcus McGuinn 3-40, Kyle Young 3-41, Koby Smith 2-10, Kevin Castro 2-18, Cody Bachman 1-7, Erick Price 1-6.