After showing no scoring troubles through the first four weeks of the season, Burlington-Edison's defense was supposed to test undefeated Squalicum.
The Tigers were allowing 8.5 points per game heading into their matchup with the Storm, but No. 4-ranked Squalicum again showcased its high-octane offense against No. 8 Burlington-Edison.
Ben Peterson ran the opening kickoff back 98 yards for a touchdown and scored the first 24 points of the game, Josiah Westbrook accounted for three scores and quarterback Garrett Sorenson threw three TD passes and ran for one to help the Storm earn an up-and-down 54-31 Northwest Conference road win Friday, Oct. 2, in Burlington.
The win was Squalicum's third straight over some of the league's top teams. The Storm (5-0, 3-0 NWC) has now beaten Lynden, Sedro-Woolley and Burlington-Edison consecutively.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
It was Peterson who gave Squalicum a big boost early on.
After taking the opening kickoff back for a score, on Squalicum's second play from scrimmage, the junior raced 50 yards on a handoff to put the Storm in front 14-0 only 2:29 into the contest.
Just like that Squalicum had surpassed the average point total the Tigers were yielding.
Peterson wasn't done.
He followed with a 20-yard field goal before catching a pass on a deep slant route and taking it 68 yards for the score.
Given he kicked all the PATs, he scored the Storm's first 24 points.
Burlington-Edison countered Squalicum's fast start with running back Taran Lambert, who in the first quarter logged eight carries for 111 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run that cut Squalicum's lead to 17-7 with 1:16 to go in the first quarter.
But Lambert suffered an ugly, game-ending injury trying to chase down Peterson on his TD catch-and-run.
Squalicum took advantage, adding an 18-yard TD run from Josiah Westbrook and a Jack Wendling safety to give the Storm a 33-10 halftime lead.
Sorenson, who finished 8 of 14 for 207 yards, three TDs and two interceptions, ran for a 14-yard touchdown before connecting with Westbrook on a 12-yard touchdown pass. The score put Squalicum ahead 47-17 with 3:07 to play in the third quarter.
Burlington-Edison did rally late. The Tigers scored twice in a 1:13 span on a 34-yard TD pass from Hunter Anderson to Jacob Zamora and a Zamora pick-six.
But Squalicum stemmed the comeback bid on the Storm's first play on the ensuing drive. Sorenson connected with Westbrook down the left side for a 66-yard touchdown that put Squalicum in front 54-31 with 7:13 left in the fourth.
Westbrook finished four catches for 127 yards. Peterson logged three for 88. Running back Triston Smith, filling in for an injured Damek Mitchell, ran for 42 yards on 10 carries.
Sq — Ben Peterson 98 kickoff return (Peterson kick)
Sq — Peterson 50 run (Peterson kick)
Sq — Peterson 20 field goal
BE — Taran Lambert 50 run (Jake Fields kick)
Sq — Peterson 68 pass from Garrett Sorenson (Peterson kick)
Sq — Josiah Westbrook 18 run (Peterson kick)
Sq — Safety
BE — Fields 32 field goal
Sq — Sorenson 14 run (Peterson kick)
BE — Hunter Anderson 3 run (Fields kick)
Sq — Westbrook 12 pass from Sorenson (Peterson kick)
BE — Jacob Zamora 34 pass from Anderson (Fields kick)
BE — Zamora 33 interception return (Fields kick)
Sq — Westbrook 66 pass from Sorenson (Peterson kick)
RUSHING — Squalicum: Garrett Sorenson 10-65, Triston Smith 10-42, Ben Peterson 2-53, Josiah Westbrook 2-15, Will Nickelson 3-4, Bunji McLeod 3-8, Carlos Hernandez 1-3, Jase Barrett 1-2. Burlington-Edison: Taran Lambert 8-111, Payton Henderson 15-43, Conner Moore 3-8, Hunter Anderson 8-0.
PASSING — Squalicum: Garrett Sorenson 8-14-227-2, Darious Powell 1-1-22-0. Burlington-Edison: Hunter Anderson 19-40-243-1.
RECEIVING — Squalicum: Josiah Westbrook 4-125, Ben Peterson 3-88, Triston Smith 1-29, Noah Westerhoff 1-7. Burlington-Edison: Derek Cherryholmes 7-80, Zach Larson 4-49, Jacob Zamora 3-75, Conner Moore 2-17, Payton Henderson 2-25, Brett Rawlins 1-(-3).