Before Squalicum played Anacortes Halloween night Friday, Oct. 31, at Civic Stadium, it already had clinched a postseason berth and knew its seeding.
But in a game that virtually meant nothing, the Storm found myriad ways to make it count.
“We just wanted to continue to be crisp and play the best game that we can,” Squalicum coach Nick Lucey said. “We feel like we’ve been playing pretty well the past few weeks, and just want to try to keep getting better and keep the level of play going up and up and up.”
The Storm arguably constructed its most complete game of the year, routing Anacortes 42-0 during both team’s Northwest Conference finale.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
Squalicum (7-2, 5-2 NWC 2A/3A) won its fifth straight game and added to an already groundbreaking season in which the Storm beat Ferndale for the first time in school history, but adding a program-best seventh win.
Next week Squalicum will look to earn its first ever state-tournament berth when it travels to face Cascade Conference No. 2-seed Archbishop (7-2, 5-2 CC) at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Storm quarterback Christian Jorgensen, who completed 10 of 13 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns, guided his offense to four TDs on six first-half drives.
Running back Nick Manchester ran for a team-high 59 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries, and wide receiver Coleman Schwab recorded three catches for 111 yards, including an 87-yard first-quarter TD catch-and-run.
“I think it was definitely a team effort,” Schwab said. “Christian put the ball where it needed to go, Lucey called the right plays and all around we executed what we needed to get done.”
The Storm’s defense was as impressive as the offense, posting its first shutout of the season.
Squalicum, which received strong efforts from Caleb Starkovich, Jake Burns, Jack Wendling and Jordan Campbell, limited the Seahawks to 100 rushing yards on 42 carries, and quarterback Camden McLaughlin was 3 of 9 for 42 yards with an interception, which Damek Mitchell intercepted late.
“(Defensive coordinator) coach (Doug) Trainor up in the booth definitely had the right calls, definitely had the right coverages, and we held them to just a couple yards in the air, and we just capitalized on fourth downs and third downs,” Schwab said.
The Storm offense put its defense in a good spot early.
Squalicum scored twice on its first four offensive plays. Jorgensen capped a three-play, 61-yard sequence with a 44-yard TD pass to Quinn Carpenter that was followed by a 87-yard beautiful, high-arcing pass to Schwab for a score on the Storm’s next offensive play.
The two TDs put Squalicum in front 14-0 with 2:01 left in the first quarter.
Following back-to-back turnover on downs, the Storm added two more scores in a span of 2:12 late in the second quarter.
Nick Manchester took a handoff up the middle for a 7-yard TD with 3:13 remaining until halftime, and after a Manchester strip and fumble recovery, Jorgensen found Josiah Westbrook for a 20-yard score, putting the Storm in front 28-0 with 1:01 left in the half.
Ben Peterson, who had a 75-yard punt return touchdown called back, took the second-half opening kickoff 92 yards down to the Anacortes 3. Jordan Campbell the next play carried around the right side for a touchdown.
Just more than two minutes later, Manchester added his second TD, this one a 3-yarder, after Anacortes went three-and-out. The score put Squalicum up 42-0, prompting the running clock.
With the regular season now in the past, Squalicum turns its attention to the Class 2A District Playoffs.
“I think we need to continue what we have been doing,” Lucey said. “When you make it to the playoffs, every minute counts in the game.”
Sq — Quinn Carpenter 44 pass from Christian Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
Sq — Coleman Schwab 87 pass from Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
Sq — Nick Manchester 7 run (Carpenter kick)
Sq — Josiah Westbrook 20 pass from Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
Sq — Jordan Campbell 3 run (Carpenter kick)
Sq — Manchester 3 run (Carpenter kick)
Sq.First downs817Rushing Att-yards42-10023-148Comp-Att-Int3-10-111-14-0Passing yards42243Penalties-yards1-55-35Fumbles-lost1-12-1
RUSHING — Anacortes: P.J. Monroe 19-60, Joe D'Amelio 8-20, Carson Buckles 5-15, Jay Kiesser 7-5, Camden McLaughlin 3-0. Squalicum: Nick Manchester 8-59, Jordan Campbell 5-43, Will Nickelson 4-26, Glen Dawson 2-11, Mac Walker 1-4, Josiah Westbrook 1-6, Christian Jorgensen 2-(-1).
PASSING — Anacortes: Camden McLaughlin 3-9-43-1, Joe D'Amelio 0-1-0-0. Squalicum: Christian Jorgensen 10-13-240-0, Garrett Sorenson 1-1-3-0.
RECEIVING — Anacortes: Jordan Neville 1-19, Joe D'Amelio 1-15, P.J. Monroe 1-9. Squalicum: Coleman Schwab 3-111, Josiah Westbrook 2-28, Ben Peterson 2-8, Quinn Carpenter 1-44, Damek Mitchell 1-36, Jake Burns 1-13, Michael Wong 1-3 .