Squalicum High School was the bigger, faster, stronger team — and maintained that edge all throughout its Class 2A first-round football game at Orting.
The Storm walloped Orting, 45-7, on Friday night in its first state playoff game in school history to move on to the 2A quarterfinals.
“Well, we saw on film what they were like,” Orting coach Marty Parkhurst said. “And boy, they were everything we thought they were. They were bigger, stronger, faster and more physical. We were up against a buzz saw tonight. We just never really got on track or got going.”
From the first play on, Orting — the 2A SPSL fourth seed — seemed overmatched and struggled to gain yardage on offense. When the Cardinals did move the ball, penalties (75 yards) and costly turnovers (four) kept the local school from having any success.
Squalicum, a Bellingham school that opened in September 1998, was anything but sloppy. The Storm totaled 391 yards — 287 through the air under first-year coach Nick Lucey, the son of former Curtis High School coach Bob Lucey.
Storm wide receiver Josiah Westbrook had four catches for 162 yards, including three touchdowns.
Westbrook’s last score was on a 33-yard catch in the third quarter to end the scoring.
“We knew we would have to play a great game and maybe get a few breaks here and there,” Parkhurst said. “With a few turnovers, you would hope you hold onto the ball and let them not run up and down the field like that.
“That was our game plan going in; we just could really slow them down.”
CLASS 2A FIRST ROUND
At Tumwater 42, Fife 24: Noah Andrews, in his second start at quarterback, did well calling his own number when selecting plays for the No. 1 Thunderbirds.
He did OK handing the ball off, too, as Tumwater rang up 473 yards on the ground to handle the Trojans at Tumwater District Stadium.
The Thunderbirds took two plays from scrimmage to put points on the board when Andrews broke out of a logjam and into the clear on a 65-yard touchdown run.
Fife’s CJ Polo cruised 91 yards on the kickoff return after the T-Birds’ score, but the Trojans had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Omar Murillo.
Still in the first half, Tumwater’s Griffin Shea took a handoff at wingback, got a block from teammate Tyrus Snow, and sprinted down the right sideline on a 77-yard scoring run.
Shea next gathered in a pass from Andrews in stride for a 79-yard scoring play to make it 21-3.
A strip by Thunderbirds safety Brogen Lesh set up a 2-yard run by Ian Saner to make it 28-3 at halftime.
Tumwater’s defense, led by Lesh, Devon Shedd-Kirkland and free safety Andrews, limited Fife’s offense to 110 yards in the first half.
At Sedro-Woolley 41, W.F. West 0: Mason Elms tallied four touchdowns, including runs of 2, 32 and 75 yards, and the sixth-ranked Cubs manhandled the visiting Bearcats.
Elms also caught a 49-yard touchdown pass from Devin Willard to give the Cubs a 34-0 lead with three minutes to go in the first half.
CLASS 2B FIRST ROUND
At Napavine 56, Life Christian Academy 3: A sloppy first half by the Eagles led to five first-half touchdown runs, and the No. 1 Tigers cruised at Centralia High School.
The Eagles held a 3-0 lead off an early Napavine fumble on Tyler Beasinger’s 41-yard field goal just 21/2 minutes into the game.
After that, Life Christian could not hold onto the football. It had five turnovers, including four interceptions, in the first half. And it failed to recover a low liner on a kickoff that the Tigers jumped on.
Brady Woodrum’s second touchdown run, a 9-yarder, gave Napavine a 42-3 lead with 1:40 remaining before halftime.