Know Thy Opponent: Mt. Baker

What we all look forward to, no?. Games late in the season that are meaningful. The suspense of not knowing your team’s fate until the final whistle. Hanging on every snap, dying just a little on each opponent achievement only to live again on a first down.

Truth be told, that sounds terrible to me. Better to be blowing everyone out and have it sown up—game and season—halfway through. But enough about Mt. Baker’s season.

Emblematic of the season for the few but Mighty Trohahns: The same doctor saw two different players today, both on second opinions no less. Just that kind of year, that kind of week.

Despite all that, by virtue of last week’s improbable win against all odds over Nooksack, the Trojans still control their postseason destiny twofold. Pull another stunning upset tonight, Trojans advance. Lose, and then have a chance at redemption with a mini-playoff next week.

Little more to say about Baker. They have been the class of Whatcom County football for more than 40 years and nothing tonight is going to change that. They’re big, fast enough and go where they please.

The Herald previews tonight’s game thusly:

Mount Baker at Meridian

Time: 7 p.m.

Site: Meridian High School

Mountaineers (8-0, 5-0 1A NWC) update: No. 2 Mount Baker wrapped up its fifth consecutive 1A NWC title with a 41-12 victory over Lynden Christian last week. For the fourth week in a row and the fifth time this season, Jed Schleimer and Carson Engholm both surpassed 100 rushing yards. Schleimer (149 yards, 3 TDs last week) leads Whatcom County with 1,297 yards this season, while Engholm (126 yards, 2 TDs) is fourth with 1,075. Mount Baker’s defense continues to be stout against the run, limiting opponents to 3.0 yards per carry.

Trojans (4-4, 3-2) update: Meridian secured at least a tie for the No. 2 seed out of the 1A NWC with a 47-20 win over Nooksack Valley last week. A win or a Nooksack Valley loss Friday would keep the Trojans’ 17-year streak of reaching the postseason alive and help them avoid a Kansas tiebreaker on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Tony Schleimer had his second 100-yard game of the season (118 yards, 1 TD) last week. He also threw for a TD and caught one. Simon Burkett threw for 204 yards and two TDs.

Key to the game: With the top seed to the 1A Northwest District playoffs already wrapped up, Mount Baker doesn’t have a lot riding on this game, while Meridian certainly does. The Trojans will need to find a way to slow Jed Schleimer and Engholm, who combined for 308 yards and four TDs in 41-28 victory in the first meeting Oct. 7.

Player to watch: Cole Roberts had a nice game for Meridian last week, rushing for 99 yards and two TDs on 17 carries. He also ran for a two-point conversion.

Herald pick: Mount Baker 31-28

Expats and the otherwise occupied are in luck because this one’s running on KGMI.

Kickoff is 7PM in Lovely Downtown Laurel.

Good luck, Trojans.

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