Good afternoon, Trojan fans. Another beautiful evening for football tonight, kicking off 7:00PM in lovely downtown Laurel.
SQUALICUM AT MERIDIAN
Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12
Site: Meridian High School
Storm update: Squalicum earned new coach Nick Lucey win No. 1 last week during the Storm’s 55-13 rout of Bellingham to open the year. Squalicum took advantage of early Red Raiders’ miscues and owned a 35-0 advantage before the end of the first quarter. Seven different Storm players scored touchdowns, but Nick Manchester led the way with 46 yards and two scores on five carries. Senior QB Christian Jorgensen had a nice debut, finishing 10 of 12 for 140 yards and one TD.
Trojans update: Meridian didn’t put up mind-blowing numbers during its season opener against Hoquiam, but the Trojans did enough to earn themselves a 14-7 road win and a No. 8 ranking in the latest Class 1A poll. Senior quarterback Tanner Tutterrow accounted for both of Meridian’s scores, and Nick Dritsas led the rushing attack with 94 yards on 22 carries.
Player to watch: The Storm’s early lead against Bellingham prevented it from throwing much. Coleman Schwab is a strong receiver who could break out.
Herald’s pick: Squalicum 31-17
Might get ugly. Perhaps mercifully, no radio coverage tonight. But y’all will be there anyway.
From the good news side of the ledger, first year coach Ty Harrison took barely more than 11 Meridian kids on the C-Team to Squalicum yesterday and beat the Storm, all 50 of them, 20-12. Great to have you, Ty.
After squeaking one out in sweltering Hoquiam, Meridian hosts the equally hot Squalicum Storm Friday for the 2014 home opener.
Squally absolutely pasted Bellingham last week, 55-13. In Nick Lucey’s first game as the Storm’s head coach, everything pretty much worked. Squally scored 7 touchdowns in the first half, after which they put on the coasters a little bit. Bellingham didn’t score until the fourth quarter against Squalicum backups.
In every possible instance, Squalicum’s athleticism peered through.
Nick Lucey, in his first game at the helm of the Storm football team, watched on as Josiah Westbrook, Nick Manchester, Damek Mitchell and his senior quarterback, Christian Jorgensen, put on an offensive display Bellingham simply couldn’t solve in a 55-13 win Friday night, Sept. 5, at Civic Stadium.
“I was really proud with the energy the boys brought,” Lucey said. “We’re trying to establish our brand of football, trying to be physical and be aggressive. I thought we saw a lot of pads popping.”
It didn’t take long for the highly-anticipated offense to strike, putting together an 11-play, 75-yard opening drive capped by a Manchester 3-yard score to take a lead Squalicum would never relinquish.
But the sustained drive did more than punctuate the start of Lucey’s era — it illustrated the weapons he’s working with and the offensive potential they posses.
Jorgensen, operating out the shotgun and pistol the entire game, hit Mitchell with a nice touch pass for 18 yards, followed by a beautiful 22-yard gain down the seem to sophomore wideout Ben Peterson.
Squally QB Christian Jorgensen finished an extremely efficient 10 of 12 passing, 110 yards and a touchdown. Starting back Damek Mitchell had 3 carries for 69 yards and a TD, but seemingly everyone else on the team had carries as well.
Coach Lucey comes to Squalicum primarily through college coaching experience, but also some high school experience with his father, Bob Lucey, at Curtis. Lucey looks to run spread football, and distribute the ball to a variety of playmakers, rather than a single feature back or receiver.
That group of seniors starts with quarterback Christian Jorgensen, who has been waiting his chance to get the keys to an offense. Lucey raved about Jorgensen’s offseason leadership, ability to orchestrate an offense and overall arm talent he presents the team.
He’s fit in flawlessly with Lucey’s spread-offense system, and the Storm coach praised his ability to quickly grasp concepts.
“He has the quarterback ‘it’ factor,” Lucey said. “He just has a presence about him. He’s a guy that everyone follows. You watch him throw mechanically, he’s awesome. … He’s picked up the offense as well as the college quarterbacks I’ve had. I couldn’t ask for much more than to have him in the driver’s seat in what we are doing.”
The Mighty Trohahns have played Squally just twice, in 2008 and 2009, and lost both.
In just a few hours, the Mighty Trohahns board the bus for the first game of the year, a 7:00PM kickoff at Hoquiam. It’s a long haul but at least there’s football at the other end of it.
Last year, a young, inexperienced Grizzlies roster struggled to keep pace in the Evergreen 1A. This year, starting this Friday at home against Meridian, the roster is more experienced and prepared for a tougher league schedule in the Evergreen 2A/1A League.
“Last year, only a few of the guys really played varsity ball; so, we were starting over,” HHS head coach Rick Moore said. “I think, for the most part, we’re more experienced. We have a lot of guys with varsity experience. All of the experience (from 2013) they picked up should pay off.”
Hoquiam (2-7 last season) increased its roster by 10 from last season and the improved depth will help.
— Jordan Nailon (@ChronNailon) August 27, 2014
Hoquiam is loaded at the skill positions, which allows for a lot of flexibility in formation. The Griz can line up in two-back, under center to run powers and counters, and spread out in shotgun to throw, or bring those players back to the heart of the formation with motion to still run power.
At quarterback, junior Jeff Capoeman and sophomore Gregory Dick are in competition to take over the starting position. Both right-handed signal-callers found time on the varsity field in the second half of last season.
Behind Capoeman and Dick in the offensive backfield, four tracksters will compete for playing time — Michael Harris and Dante Lopez at fullback and Tyler White and Artie Johnson at tailback.
In the passing game, wide receivers Jerod Steen, Kenny Wakefield, Vince Tran, Anthony Nash, Austin Edwards and Jack Adams III will be targets in Hoquiam’s pro set/spread offense.
— Jordan Nailon (@ChronNailon) August 27, 2014
This past weekend, Hoquiam played in a jamboree at Montesano, in the Bulldogs’ rebuilt stadium no less, to start off the season.
Hoquiam's Michael Harris (6) had some nice plays tonight, including a TD. Hoquiam lost both match ups tonight though pic.twitter.com/UdhnCyB1Zq
— Aaron Lavinsky (@DW_ADLavinsky) August 30, 2014
Elma 14, Hoquiam 12
Two conversions by all-Evergreen 1A League placekicker Steven Persell proved the difference in perhaps the most competitive of the contests.
After opening the mini-game with a 20-yard run, Hoquiam’s Tyler White scored on an 8-yard jaunt three players later. The Grizzlies also scored on the last of their 10 allotted plays when Michael Harris punched it in from one yard out. Neither conversion, however, was successful.
Breaking tackles near the line of scrimmage, Elma’s Rio Ortega shook free on what was officially a 40-yard scoring run to trim the decifit to 12-7. Although no plays were supposed to originate from beyond the 40-yard line, the ball on this occasion was marked closer to the 43 after Persell was nailed for a loss on the previous play.
The Eagles also scored on their next possession. After hitting Justin Spencer on a 23-yard completion, junior quarterback Tristan Robinette took it in on a keeper from 4 yards out.
Tenino 7, Hoquiam 0
Zeb Chamberlain’s 13-yard halfback pass to Spencer Brewer on fourth down represented the lone marker against Hoquiam. Guzman again tacked on the PAT.
Hoquiam’s Bubba Dick and Jeff Capoeman each turned in decent performances in dividing time at quarterback. Dick scrambled 26 yards on the Grizzlies’ final play, but was taken down on the Beaver 5.
— Jordan Nailon (@ChronNailon) August 27, 2014
MERIDIAN AT HOQUIAM
Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5
Site: Olympic Stadium
Trojans update: Meridian is coming of a 2013 Class 1A state playoff appearance, but unfortunately for the Trojans much of last year’s talent graduated. Coach Bob Ames does return veteran quarterback Tanner Tutterrow (1,639 pass yards, 11 TDs). One of the biggest questions is how will Meridian replace Letrez Jones’ production. Ames plans on using Cody Bachman, Nick Dritsas, Dakota Jones and Nick Miller. The Trojans also have to replace nearly their entire offensive line, with an exception to Blake Carson.
Grizzlies update: Hoquiam struggled last season, putting together a 2-7 overall record. Defense seemed to be a major problem, as the Grizzlies gave up an average of 27.1 points per game and surrendered 35 or more points five times.
Player to watch: Ames usually keeps secrets close to the vest, but he did point out how he’s looking forward to seeing Koby Smith at linebacker. He could be one to watch.
Herald’s pick: Meridian 31-10
Please mark your calendars for Homecoming Weekend in Laurel, October 10-11, 2014.
Meridian will host Nooksack Valley on Friday, October 10th with a 7pm kickoff. On Saturday, October 11th from 2pm-4pm, all fans and alumni will be invited back to MHS to celebrate our LEADERS & LEGENDS event. Refreshments and snacks will be provided.
Please contact Michelle Simmons with nominees for our Leaders as well as names of Legends. If you have memorabilia you would like to share, please bring it to the event. Additional information will be posted on the fan page, school reader boards and email. Thank you!
The Trojans will take the field for the first time this Saturday when Meridian hosts King’s and Sedro Woolley for a jamboree at 3:30PM.
Meridian used to play some kind of pre-season jamboree every year. In 2000 when the state went to a 10-game regular season, the jamboree was dropped. However, for 2014, the WIAA is allowing it again along with 10 regular season games.
This will be our first chance to see the Trohans hit someone in a different color uniform. I’m sure it will be over in plenty of time to get home to watch the Huskies at 7:30.
Free admission, and the concession stand will be open.
We are officially in crunch time to sell ad space for the MHS football program. Ads can be purchased in a variety of sizes ranging from $50 to $300.
Please contact Michelle Simmons (360.303.8832) to place an ad or renew an ad from previous seasons. Ads are due by September 2.
We appreciate your support of Meridian and it’s student athletes! Go TROJANS!
Michelle Blackburn sent us some pictures of Spencer’s time at the 2014 Earl Barden All-State Game.
Go check out at the rest meridianfootball.com/gallery/index.php/2013-Season/2014-Earl-Barden-All-State-Game.
Twenty-two years later, Ol’ #6 Ty Harrison will be back on the Trojan sidelines, helping to coach receivers and defensive backs.
I hope the kids realize they’re getting coaching from not only one of the all-time Trojan greats, but one of the best in Whatcom County history.
Welcome back, Ty.
One more note that got left off the original 2014 schedule post.
Years ago, teams had the opportunity to schedule pre-season jamborees or scrimmages. That got rolled into the 10th game when the state changed to the 10 regular same game format 10 years ago or so. That is changing for 2014. Teams can play 10 regular season games and a pre-season jamboree.
Meridian is working on scheduling a scrimmage, and hopefully a multi-team jamboree, before the Hoquiam season opener, likely on Saturday, Aug. 30.
Edit: There were some formatting issues in the original post that put the schedule table in a screwy spot. Fixed now.
Good afternoon Trojan fans. We’re under 2 months until the season opener so it’s high time to post the 2014 schedule.
A long road trip early in the season. Meridian opens at Hoquiam. The Grizzlies didn’t have a great season last year but do return a lot of experience and will be huge as always. In week 3, we hosted Chelan.
Edit 2: Confirmed that Chelan is at home this year. Earlier version had that incorrect.
With Blaine back up to 2A this year, the remaining NWC 1A teams play twice this year. That’s a tough go for everyone when it’s only 4 teams in the cycle.