Squalicum’s offense proved to be too much for Blaine, as the Storm racked up 335 yards of offense en route to a 62-14 win on Friday, Oct. 24, in a Northwest Conference football game.
The Storm overcame 184 rushing yards by Borderites running back Riley Fritsch.
“Riley has been doing a great job all season,” Blaine coach Jay Dodd said. “It’s a tribute to our offensive line, too. Riley is a great runner with good vision. He’s tough to bring down.”
But Blaine’s defense had very few answers for Squalicum’s attack, which helped the Storm (6-2, 4-2 NWC 2A/3A) lock up a postseason berth with the win. Squalicum showed its offensive prowess on its first drive, as it mixed Nick Koetje-Manchester runs with Christian Jorgensen’s passes for a drive that went 77 yards to score.
Jorgensen found Josiah Westbrook on a 1-yard fade route for the score. It was an emotional game for Westbrook, who used to attend Blaine.
“I was trying not to think about it, but I wanted to keep it in the back of my mind so I had some fire,” Westbrook said.
Jorgensen hit Westbrook for three touchdowns and 41 yards in the game.
“Christian had great throws on great angles,” Westbrook said. “He fit the ball in really small spots.”
The Storm’s readiness was clear from even before its first drive, as Ben Peterson returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
After falling behind 14-0, Blaine’s offense kicked into gear as Fritsch found the end zone on a 40-yard touchdown run.
But Squalicum didn’t let the Borderites get too close, as Jorgensen hit Coleman Schwab for a 61-yard touchdown just two plays later.
The Northwest Conference foes looked fairly even through the first quarter, but the Storm was able to pull away in the second quarter and second half, after emotions began to run hot. On the third instance of trash-talking and shoving in the second half, Dodd called timeout to calm his team down.
Squalicum also took the time to clear its heads.
“We had a very up-front discussion about who we are and that’s not what we’re about,” Squalicum coach Nick Lucey said. “It was taken care of, and they always responded, and they did a good job from there on out. To Coach Dodd’s credit, I took the cue from him.”
Squalicum’s defense also stepped up in the second half, holding Fritsch to less than 50 yards and twice intercepting passes by Blaine quarterback Nate Kramme. One of those interceptions, by Jack Wendling, was returned for a touchdown.
Kramme was otherwise efficient until the Storm keyed in on his intended targets in the second half. He finished 4 of 9 for 47 yards, but almost every completion netted the Borderites a key first down.
On the other side of the ball, Jorgensen was able to spread the ball around to his receivers, finding five different targets for 205 yards.
“We came out and thought with the mucked-up field we would pass into the good grass and get our guys outside,” Lucy said. “It was good to see everything clicking on all cylinders. That was maybe our most complete game offensively.”
Blaine (4-4, 2-4) is essentially eliminated from the 2A postseason chase.
Squalicum finishes up the regular season against Anacortes in a game scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, at Civic Stadium. Blaine will travel to Lynden to take on the Lions in its final regular season game at 7 p.m. the same day.
Squal — Ben Peterson 90 kickoff return (Quinn Carpenter kick)
Squal — Josiah Westbrook 1 pass from Christian Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
Blaine — Riley Fritsch 40 run (Kyle Sentkowski kick)
Squal — Coleman Schwab 61 pass from Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
Blaine — Fritsch 1 run (Sentkowski kick)
Squal — Nick Koetje-Manchester 8 run (Carpenter kick)
Squal — Westbrook 3 pass from Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
Squal — Westbrook 3 pass from Jorgensen (2 point failed)
Squal — Jack Wendling 70 interception return (Carpenter kick)
Squal — D’Jalyn Mitchell 3 run (Carpenter kick)
Squal — Will Nickelson 9 run (Carpenter kick)
RUSHING — Squalicum: Nick Koetje-Manchester 11-89, D’Jalyn Mitchell 3-9, Will Nickelson 6-35. Blaine: Riley Fritsch 35-184, Nate Kramme 2-(-7), Josh Fakkema 1-6, Garrett Adams 5-27.
PASSING — Squalicum: Christian Jorgensen 17-21-205-0. Blaine: Nate Kramme 4-9-47-2, Jalen Kortlever 1-4-7-0.
RECEIVING — : Squalicum: Josiah Westbrook 6-41, Ben Peterson 6-76, Coleman Schwab 1-61, Damek Mitchell 3-22, D’Jalyn Mitchell 1-5. Blaine: Josh Fakkema 2-37, Kaden Foster 1-3, Gunnar Arnason 1-7, Haden Anthony 1-7.