High School Football

Squalicum shows resiliency during dramatic victory

Squalicum coach Nick Lucey talked about character- and season-defining moments following Squalicum’s huge 42-30 Northwest Confernce win over Sedro-Woolley Friday night.

He was talking about Ben Peterson’s big strip, fumble recovery and runback for a touchdown that sealed the Storm’s win.

The fact Squalicum was able to rise up and show resiliency when the Cubs had captured the game’s momentum late, is a telling team characteristic the Storm will surely keep with them moving forward.

“Our guys just weathered it,” Lucey said of Sedro-Woolley’s late surge. “I think it’s big in our personality development and understanding how we have to play.”

After Squalicum scored 21 unanswered second-quarter points, the game never seemed in doubt until Woolley had the chance for a game-winning score late, and even though the Storm’s defense cracked some in the second half, it got the job done when they needed to most.

Freeman continues to make plays for Golden Eagles

Ferndale’s defensive backs were stellar during the Golden Eagles’ 20-10 win over Burlington-Edison.

The group composed of corners Justice Powell and James Hinson and safeties Sky Freeman and Jacob Kildall held Burlington-Edison’s athletes in check most of the night, including limiting Derek Cherryholmes, the Northwest Conference’s leading receiver, to 39 yards on four catches.

But for the second straight week, Freeman stole the spotlight. The junior’s fourth-quarter interception on the second play of Burlington-Edison’s drive after Ferndale took a 13-10 lead set up the Golden Eagles for a game-sealing 25-yard score by Austin Honeycutt.

“Great read on his part,” Ferndale coach Jamie Plenkovich said after the game. “He just jumped the post route, something we’d seen them run a ton. Just really good anticipation in his part and just stepping in front of it and making a big play.”

It was Freeman’s second pick in as many weeks.

Joshua Hart

Coaches give thanks to longtime referee

Coaches on both sides of the field in Meridian’s 40-13 win over Lynden Christian wished referee Don Murdzia well. Murdzia, in his 53rd season as a football official, this week will take advantage of an opportunity to get a hip replacement. It marks the end of one of the longest careers in state history. How many officials in any sport have been calling games longer than most of the parents of the players have been alive?

“I’m hoping I can still come back for baseball,” Murdzia said with a wink. He wasn’t kidding!

Meridian’s earns team win

Even though Meridian’s Nick Dritsas had five touchdowns and 229 yards combined rushing and receiving, coach Bob Ames had ever reason to call it “a real good team win.” It seemed as though almost every defensive starter was in on at least three or four tackles as the Trojans held an explosive LC team (3-1 overall) to 106 yards passing and 98 rushing.

Sophomore quarterback Simon Burkett completed 9 of 15 passes for 161 yards and a pair of pretty scores to Dritsas, one a 37-yarder in full stride and the other a 13-yard beauty on a dive in the end zone.

“Meridian’s passing game was really in sync,” LC coach Galen Kaemingk said of one of the primary reasons the Lyncs suffered their first loss in their 1A Northwest Conference opener. The Trojans, meanwhile, constantly pressured LC quarterback Lucas Roetcisoender, who still managed to rally the Lyncs to within 27-13 late in the third quarter.

The team aspect was obvious after Meridian declined to punt on fourth-and-9 from LC’s 46-yard line. Burkett hit tight end Daniel Young for 11 yards and a first down, eventually making possible Dritsas’ diving touchdown catch for a 27-7 lead.

Michelle Nolan

Blaine’s run game gets back on track

Blaine Borderites’s head coach, Jay Dodd, knew his team needed to run the ball consistently to win against conference opponent Sehome Mariners.

To achieve this he turned to his offensive line.

“We weren’t satisfied with our running performance last week,” Dodd said, referencing his team’s 34-20 loss to Ferndale last week. “We challenged our offensive line to perform better this week.”

And perform they did. Blaine’s line played outstanding, creating openings for a strong performance by running back Riley Fritsch, who ran for two touchdowns and 150 yards.

The offensive line also protected quarterback Jalen Kortlever, who wasn’t sacked all night and threw for two touchdowns and 242 yards.

John Boone

Lynden’s motivation evident in win

Lynden was fired up from the opening whistle, and it showed during its 52-20 dominant win over Anacortes. The player’s passion and excitement was evident in their hitting and loud yells of satisfaction.

"I wanted to be aggressive," said Wittenberg.

Wittenberg caught eight balls for 111 yards and was a major determinent in the game’s outcome.

Evan Elliott

Schleimer praises O-line

Jed Schleimer’s 21 carries for 515 yards set a state record for an individual rushing total. Not only did he break Jacob Prince’s school record of 422 yards, but he broke the state record, regardless of class, of 488 yards set in 2012 by Eisenhower’s Branden Curtis.

“Yeah I knew I was close. My brother was telling me,” Schleimer said of setting the record. “My offensive line was battling for me all night, making their blocks. Now we got to rest up this weekend and (be) strong (by) Monday. We gotta keep working hard for Meridian next week.”

Ryan Parrish