High School Football

Mariners’ defense shines against Burlington-Edison

While the Mariners’ offense didn’t make enough plays to earn a win against Burlington-Edison during the team’s 21-13 loss Thursday, Oct. 20, at Civic Stadium, the defense certainly did.

Several times Sehome set up its offense with a prime opportunity to score.

The Mariners gave up only 141 total yards to Burlington-Edison’s offense that has lately been scoring plenty of points.

“Our defense played well last week, and they played well again tonight, good enough to win,” Sehome coach Bob Norvell. “You got to score points to win football games in this league, and we just didn’t it done.”

Linebackers Tyler Hruby and Josh Slesk helped limit the Tigers’ offense to 127 rushing yards, and the Mariners’ secondary gave up only 14 passing yards.

Andrew Lang

Pioneers’ defense matches success of offense

Nooksack Valley defeated Meridian in the final 1A regular season matchup between the two teams, thanks in large part to some big plays by Tanner Myhre on both sides of the ball.

But defense also played a big part in the win for the Pioneers. In the first and third quarters they held the Trojans scoreless, and except for the final touchdown in the game’s closing seconds, they would have done it in the fourth.

The key to the defensive stand was holding the Meridian rushing attack. One unsung player in particular impressed Nooksack Valley coach Robb Myhre.

“A kid that really stepped up tonight is Alex Boots, he’s a sophomore defensive end who hasn’t played a lot this year,” Myhre said. “He and Josh Gimmaka did a nice job going back and forth subbing each other out tonight. Meridian had hurt us the first game on some dives and our ends have been really working on crashing down and taking that play away. They did a nice job of that and taking that play away that was so successful last time.”

Though Meridian running back Nick Dritsas still got his 110 yards on the ground, the Pioneers were able to hold the other half of the running tandem, Kevin Castro, to just 30 yards on 14 carries. Castro mostly ran dive plays and between the tackles, the exact plays Myhre hoped to stop this time out.

Another influential play was right before the big Meridian touchdown as time expired. The play before, Meridian quarterback Tanner Tutterrow had looked to go deep on the opposite side of the field he ended up being successful on.

As the ball was up in the air, receiver Cody Bachman realized he needed to put on some speed to get to the target and sped up after a brief hesitation. Cornerback Brady Wood read Bachman the whole way and looked up as the ball was coming down to bat it away from Bachman’s outstretched hands.

Though that play didn’t fully stop the Trojans from scoring on the next play, Wood’s awareness made sure the pressure was on Meridian with 9 seconds to play.

Alex Peterson

Ferndale shows good and ugly side in loss

It was almost like there were two different Ferndale teams on the field Thursday night.

One team was dominant on both sides of the ball, scoring almost at will and holding the opponent to only 13 points.

But it was the other Ferndale team who lost them the game. That team gave up 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. That team was called on costly penalties and turned the ball over with less than two minutes remaining.

Ferndale led 28-13 at the end of the third quarter. The Golden Eagle defense did not allow a touchdown through the air in the first half, then gave up three during the second, including a blistering 80-yard completion in the fourth quarter.

Ferndale’s offense looked good when they had the lead, but once the Golden Eagles started playing from behind, their campaign looked impotent. The Golden Eagles did not complete a pass all game. A team without a passing attack typically finds it very difficult to come from behind and win games, and this was no exception.

John Boone

Lions passing game shines again

In its final game of the regular season at Lynden High School, the Lions avoided another upset with a 28-21 victory against the Blaine Borderites on Oct. 30.

Both teams were nearly even in the running game — Blaine’s Riley Fritsch ran for 138 yards and Lynden’s Trent Postma rushed for 120 yards and both players also scored a touchdown. But it was the passing game where the Lions separated themselves from the Borderites. Lynden out-threw Blaine by 62 yards, Blaine’s Nathan Kramme threw for 135 yards with two touchdowns and Lynden’s Sterling Somers threw for 197 yards with three touchdowns.

The key to the game was the Lions’ big plays through the passing game, which was able to keep drives going and fatigue the Borderite defense.

“They’re hard to defend,” Blaine coach Jay Dodd said. “They have a couple of good wide receivers.”

Lynden had three passing plays of at least 20 yards on a first down play in order to get down the field quickly. Lynden’s Sterling Somers was also able to connect with three different receivers for touchdowns throughout the game, which wasn’t decided until the clock hit zero.

“I’m so proud of our guys for finding a way to reach out and win,” Lynden coach Curt Kramme said.

Jake Kasowski

Mason Bass impresses in Baker win

Don’t be surprised to see Mount Baker quarterback Mason Bass passing at least a bit more next season.

Just when it seemed the junior field leader would make only one pass — a 32-yard beauty for a touchdown to Ruvim Tikhonov in Baker’s 20-0 win over Lynden Christian — Mountaineers coach Ron Lepper made a seemingly surprising call.

In fact, the call early in the fourth quarter was extra surprising, considering the Mountaineers were beginning a drive on their own 36 with a 13-0 lead and 10 minutes remaining to play in a historic Deming mud bath.

Bass’ second pass of the game fell incomplete before Liam Short went to work, gaining 62 of his 92 yards rushing on the game-clinching drive. Short capped the drive on a 15-yard burst around the left end.

Bass turned in a nearly flawless ball-handling effort, which was especially remarkable considering the mud was the worst Lepper said he had ever seen in 19 seasons as head coach.

In fact, Baker’s line protected Bass so well that his number (10) could be read throughout the incredibly muddy game in a steady rain.

Bass was proud of the blocking efforts of interior linemen Jax Toctocan, Paul Lebedev, J.T. Keeney, Kolton Zender and Chad Cohn along with tight ends T.J. Bass and Carson Schmidt.

“I think the line is really stepping up,” Mason Bass said. “All were new to the starting lineup but No. 76 (Cohn).”

Bass said that while outsiders were skeptical of the young Mounties, “Our team believed in them” at the start of the season and believes in them even more now that Baker is headed for the Class 1A Northwest District playoffs as a top seed.

Baker kicker/punter Zane Smith did about as good a job as could be expected in the slippery conditions, as did LC punter Cody Fransen, who scrambled to recover two high snaps and coped with slipping in ankle-high mud during another kick. All three times, Fransen got his kicks off.

Michelle Nolan