For the second consecutive year, the Neah Bay Red Devils met the Lummi Nation Blackhawks in the Class 1B state football semifinals in the Tacoma Dome.
And for the second consecutive year, it’s the Red Devils who will play for the state title – this time after a 46-14 victory behind big efforts from freshmen cornerbacks Cameron Buzzell and Cole Svec.
“I have complete faith in those two,” Red Devils coach Tony McCaulley said. “They’ve been huge for us since our starters went down. … I believed they’d get the job done.”
Neah Bay (11-0) returns to the championship game, where the Red Devils fell short against Liberty Christian in overtime last year. They will play Saturday’s winner between Touchet and Rosalia on Friday at the Tacoma Dome.
On Lummi’s (9-3) first two drives, McCaulley’s faith in Buzzell and Svec was tested.
Blackhawks quarterback Logan Toby targeted the young defenders. He connected with Kavarez Lane on a 27-yard touchdown, and then found Dean Williams in the end-zone the next drive for an 11-yard TD that put Lummi up 14-0.
“I think in the first quarter, we were just nervous because we’re freshman,” Buzzell said. “Later on we (became) comfortable playing and just settled down.”
On the Blackhawks’ first two drives, Toby was 3-for-3 with gains of 28, 27 and 11-yards, but Buzzell and Svec stepped up after that.
Toby finished with 147 yards with two touchdowns on 13 of 30 passing.
“This was a tough game at the beginning,” Svec said. “We started to hit them and crack them, and they just started giving up. We’re good, and we’re only going to get better.”
Neah Bay’s pass-option offense scored 46 consecutive points behind senior running back Cody Cummins.
“We set the tone last year after our (championship) loss that we are going back,” Cummins said. “We told the younger guys they needed to step up and they did. Now we’re going back to win it.”
Cummins scored twice – on runs of 25 yards and 4 yards – and finished with 114 yards on 15 firstname.lastname@example.org