1B State Finals Preview, Neah Bay vs. Liberty-Christian By Steven Dion
A clash of the 2012 and 2013 state champs. Neah Bay is the defending champion and winner of 2 in the last 3 seasons. Liberty-Christian defeated Neah Bay to capture the title in 2012 on the final play of the contest. I spoke with the head coach of the Red Devils Tony McCaulley this week and that game was certainly discussed this week to fire up his team, especially upperclassmen that played in the game. McCaulley’s team was tested by Lummi to reach the finals as they were limited to 213 total yards and lost 3 fumbles in a 26-20 win. The Red Devil defense also show signs of vulnerability as Lummi’s three trips to the red zone all resulted in scores. 40 of NBHS’s 45 plays were rushes, so Cole Svec and Reggie Buttram’s ability to move the football with their legs will be important.
Liberty Christian defeated Republic by the score of 46-20 en route to a state final berth. The score doesn’t fully indicate how dominant the Patriots were in this contest. Mike Olson’s team had a four touchdown lead before the Tigers even got on the board. John Lesser was responsible for 6 touchdowns, three by air and three by ground. Both teams have championship experience so it would not be a surprise to see a tight game decided in the fourth quarter. Looking forward to this game at 4 pm on Saturday night.
Neah Bay Grinds a State Semifinal Win over Lummi By Colin Caruso
In their third matchup this season, in 8-8 football (a ton of fun, I encourage you to catch a game) the Neah Bay Red Devils faced off against the Lummi Blackhawks for a trip to the state finals. Neah Bay won both previous matchups by a 12 point margin in both games, but Lummi was looking to knock off the defending champs.
Lummi started the scoring in the first quarter with an Austin Brockie 1 yard run. But it was Neah Bay’s second quarter that really changed the course of this game. Three scores for the Red Devils, one with Cole Svec’s arm and one with his legs, along with a fumble recovery gave the Red Devils an 8 point lead heading into the second half.
Lummi answered in the third with a needed Hank Hoskins 2 yard run, he was great for the Blackhawks all day and had two scores in the game. But Neah Bay wore the Blackhawks out. Hoskins went down with a cramp and was gassed going into the fourth quarter. Neah Bay capitalized on a Cameron Buzzell 28 yard catch, proving to be the final score of the game.
The Red Devils advanced to the state finals for the fourth season in a row!
The FinalScore – Neah Bay 26, Lummi 20.
Top Performers: Neah Bay
Cole Svec – 18 carries for 90 yards and 1 TD, 68 yard passing TD
Hank Hoskins – 12 carries for 55 yards and 2 TD
Tulalip Earns Ticket to State with Win Over Wilbur-Creston By Steven Dion
Win or go home. This is the nature of the regional round leading up to the state tournament next week. The fate of Tulalip Heritage’s and Wilbur-Creston’s seasons would be decided on Friday night at Everett Community College. The winner of this game would receive their ticket to the state tournament at Spokane Arena next week and be three wins away from a championship. The loser would end their season in the sweet sixteen round.
Tulalip wasted no time getting their momentum rolling as they started the game on an 11-0 run. The Hawks shot the ball extremely well out of the gate, especially from downtown. Four players scored in double figures for Tulalip which presented matchup problems for Wilbur-Creston throughout the game. The Wildcats were able to rally midway through the second quarter from a double-digit deficit by feeding Colton Magers. The junior forced his way through the Hawks defense to put up shots in the paint en route to 19 points. However, THHS closed the quarter strong and took a 42-29 lead into the locker room.
When the third quarter began, Tulalip continued to be the aggressor in this contest as their precision passing in transition led to a number of buckets at the rim. The Wildcats were tentative in their shot selection, which prevented them from grabbing a lead in this game. Bradley Fryberg started to loosen up in this game for Tulalip in the second half as his gritty defense highlighted by eight steals deflated the WC attack. Fryberg was slinging the rock to teammates like a quarterback down the stretch, many of which were no-look passes. The junior’s command of the court helped Tulalip’s leading scorers in Ayrik Miranda and Keanu Hamilton pick up an 81-64 win and a trip to state.
Neah Bay Scores 46 unanswered to Knock off Rival Lummi, Advances to 1B State Final By Colin Caruso
In a clash of teams all too familiar with each other, the Lummi Blackhawks and the Neah Bay Red Devils faced off in a 1B eight on eight Washington state semifinal. The Tacoma Dome was the site of the contest for these two squads who faced off earlier this season, with Neah Bay taking the first matchup 76-32.
The underdog Lummi Blackhawks started the game with a great opening quarter, capitalizing on two Logan Toby touchdown passes and taking a 14-8 lead into the second. With normal course of action in eight on eight ball resulting in outrageous scores, the second quarter presented the opposite, with only one score from the Red Devils in the frame. The Red Devils sealed their 16-14 halftime lead with a goal line stand after a Blackhawk first and goal from the two with under two minutes to play.
The Red Devils started the second half strong with an 88 yard drive capped off by a 23 yard pass from Josiah Green to John Reamer to take the lead 24-14 after another successful two point conversion. The Red Devil defense held firm the entire quarter and the offense added a Josiah Greene 1 yard run quarter to take a commanding 30-14 lead into the fourth.
Two more scores for Neah Bay in the fourth and another shutout quarter pitched on defense ended this game with a commanding Red Devil win, 46-14. They will face the winner of Touchet and Rosalia in the 1B state final on December 6th at 4PM in the Tacoma Dome.
Top Performers: Neah Bay
Josiah Greene – 8-10 179 yards, 3 passing TD. 18 carries for 89 yards and 1TD
Cody Cummins – 15 carries for 115 yards and 2TD