Here are my five takeaways from last Friday’s football games as we move into Week 3 of the prep football season.
1. Squalicum is the real deal: This claim may be one week premature, as the Storm host No. 1-ranked Lynden this Friday. But, nonetheless, the way Squalicum handled Meridian during its 48-14 win last week was impressive. The Storm may have entered the game slight favorites, but maybe besides Squalicum and its coaching staff, I can’t imagine many foresaw what took place on the field. The Storm’s athletes had a distinct advantage over Meridian’s, and Squalicum’s defense looked strong, too. By halftime the Storm led 48-0. New coach Nick Lucey’s offense looks crisp, and it highlights the Storm’s best strengths. It doesn’t hurt having a strong-armed senior quarterback in Christian Jorgensen, either.
2. Don’t give up on Ferndale, yet: The Golden Eagles find themselves in a foreign position, starting the season 0-2. That just doesn’t happen in Ferndale. Sure, the first two games have no impact on the league slate, but the Golden Eagles had an opportunity to prove something against solid Class 3A opponents Kamiakin and Oak Harbor. Ferndale in the past has had little trouble navigating the Class 2A Northwest Conference schedule but stumbles once postseason 3A competition comes around. Still, Ferndale should be just fine. Even with many of the 2As improving, I can’t envision the Golden Eagles losing more than one or two league contests. There’s too much talent across the board.
3. Nooksack Valley should be the favorite in the 1As: Tanner Myhre and the Pioneers’ offensive has looked explosive during the first two weeks. How about this stat? Myhre already has accounted for 837 total yards and 12 touchdowns. The Pioneers also have a tremendous linebacking trio in Curtis Handy, Willy Kingma and Adam Mydland. Last Friday’s win against perennial power Montesano was a big one, and Nooksack Valley will get another good test this Saturday against No. 2-ranked Cascade Christian. Not only have the Pioneers looked good, it’s become apparent both Mount Baker and Meridian might be down a bit this fall. Both graduated tremendous losses and those missing pieces are showing. While Lynden Christian has won handily each of the first two weeks, it isn’t quite on Nooksack Valley’s level.
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4. Skagit schools shouldn’t be taken lightly: Sedro-Woolley was on everybody’s radar heading into the season after reaching the Class 2A State Playoffs. The Cubs seem to be right where they left off, beating Mount Vernon 37-0 last Friday before handing Mount Baker a 35-7 Week 1 defeat. But outside Sedro-Woolley, Burlington-Edison and Anacortes weren’t expected to do much. Well, under new coach Herb Lehman’s direction, the Tigers seem to be serious contenders. They opened with a 38-6 win over Mount Vernon and shutout Cedarcrest 31-0 last week. Even Anacortes should be competitive.
5. What’s up with Meridian?: Coach Bob Ames before this season lamented over the loss of last year’s graduated seniors, and while some of Ames’ team talk is best taken with a grain of salt, the Trojans backed an unimpressive 14-7 road win against Hoquiam with a 48-14 home debacle against Squalicum. Meridian moved the ball against Squalicum, but kept burning itself with turnovers. Also, what I found interesting was the Trojans coaching staff opting to start Marcus McGuinn at quarterback in the second half over starter Tanner Tutterrow. McGuinn, however, looked really good. Not only does he bring a running element to the position, he completed 12 of 14 passes for 164 yards. I would imagine Meridian goes back to Tutterrow next week, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out. The Trojans have a good opportunity this week to get back on track against Chelan at home.