With the Northwest District receiving only three state berths, combined with the Northwest Conference’s 2A talent pool, there was some certainty heading into the year a quality NWC team will miss the state playoffs.
Unfortunately, one of those will be Lynden or Sedro-Woolley, the two teams who last year played for a state title.
But while its a shame one team will be eliminated in the district playoffs, the matchup should be outstanding
Not only is it a rematch of last year’s title game, but Lynden will get another crack at the Cubs after falling to them two weeks ago 32-29 in overtime.
Whether or not Lynden can reach the state playoffs for the 10th consecutive season is one of the many storylines as postseason football gets underway. Here are some other things to watch this Friday and Saturday:
Can Ferndale hang with 3A powerhouse Bellevue?
The Wolverines are known as the biggest powerhouse in Washington prep football for a reason, and they’re a force again.
Ferndale was bounced from the postseason each of the past two times the Golden Eagles played beyond the regular season. They lost 28-0 in 2012 during the first round of state and lost 44-0 the following season in a district playoff game.
But it would be hard not to give the Golden Eagles at least a sliver of a chance this time, especially how well they’ve played in their past three games since losing to Lynden Week 7.
Ferndale’s distinguishing characteristic is its physicality, and Bellevue always has been known for its size and off-the-charts athleticism. Nobody, besides Lynden, has been able to slow down the Golden Eagles’ run game, and even in that game Austin Honeycutt eclipsed 100 yards rushing.
Plus, the Wolverines don’t play in an overly difficult 2A/3A Kingco league. Besides losing to heralded national power Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas, Bellevue’s only real test came in a non-league 24-6 win over Glacier Peak.
It will compelling to see how well Bellevue slows down Honeycutt and Ferndale’s rushing attack. If the Golden Eagles can eliminate penalties, get 3 to 5 yards per rush and drain clock, you never know.
Where is Squalicum at entering postseason?
The Storm ran the gauntlet to open Northwest Conference play, and it came out unscathed, beating Lynden, Sedro-Woolley, Burlington-Edison and Ferndale.
Now, nearly a month has past since Squalicum has been significantly challenged.
Not that Lakewood should pose a serious threat — Lynden beat the Cougars 53-0 a week before losing to the Storm 27-0 — but nonetheless it should be interesting to see how the Storm play in its first meaningful game in some time.
And while Garrett Sorenson has proved during the regular season no spotlight is too bright, he is untested in the postseason.
Surely, Squalicum and its deep, talented team hope Saturday’s game is the springboard to a deep Class 2A state playoff run.