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Bellingham Red Raiders (0-2) @ Squalicum Storm (2-0)
7pm Live From Civic Stadium in Bellingham, WA
Bellingham gets the advantage with the senior leadership of QB Justin Pruett (6-0 175) who last week went 24 of 39 for 223 yards and a TD. In just their last game alone, Bellingham threw for more yards than Squalicum has all season. The Storm counter with So. Clark Hazlett (6-3 185) who has shown improvement over last season.
With the uncertainty of Bellingham Sr. Marques Reynolds (6-1 215), I give the edge to the Storm. Squalicum comes at you with Jr. Luke Weber (6-0 170) who averaged nearly 5 yards a carry last season and has 49 carries and 225 yards so far this season. Weber scored all 4 TDs in last weeks come from behind win over Sedro-Woolley. The Storm also feature bruising fullback Sr. Brandon LeDoux (5-10 190) who is also a DT on defense. So far LeDoux has rushed 15 times for 99 yards. While those number do not stand out, they also calculate into a 6.6/ypc. If Reynolds can’t go the Red Raiders will again turn to Jr. Melvin Deal (5-10 240) who last week rushed 15 times for 103 in a loss.
The Red Raiders get the advantage here, but it might only be for the reason that they have gained more yards passing this season. Sr. Darice Haywood (5-11 150) has been Pruett’s favorite target so far this season with 14 catches for 172 and 2 TDs. A bit of a surprise in last weeks loss was the play of Sr. Nicholas Estrada (5-10 185) who had 7 catches for 101 yards.
I give the Storm the advantage based on experience and depth. The Storm know that to be successful they have to run the ball and they do that very well. Sr. Jacob Hamm (6-0 190) leads a group of lineman that aren’t exactly big, but very good at what they do. Bellingham has two really nice players on the OL in Sr. Thomas Vazorka (6-6 285) and Jr. Nick Hanks (6-0 215).
Senior leadership is the key here as Squalicum runs with fierce DEs Ryan Rasmussen (6-3 180) and Kyle Stallo (6-2 220) that create havoc in the backfield of opposing offenses. Much like on the OL the two players to keep an eye on from Bellingham are Thomas Vazorka and Nick Hanks. If the Red Raiders are going to stop that physical Storm running attack, Vazorka and Hanks are going to have to play a huge part.
The Storm have some of the better LBs in northwest Washington. Two players I expect to have big games are Sr. Sam Olney (5-9 190) and Marc Novak (6-3 220). If Marquese Reynolds from Bellingham is healthy (week-to-week, undisclosed injury) he will be their top defender.
The Storm again are very deep in the secondary with Landon Tripp, Luke Weber, Daniel Weber, Blaze Yetter and Trey Hunter all seeing significant playing time. A player I look to in the defensive backfield for Bellingham is Sr. Scott Tang (5-8 145) who while small in stature has already come up big on both sides of the ball for the Red Raiders.
The Red Raiders have given up a TON of points this season (56, 55) and I don’t expect it to end this week. Squalicum has been stout on defense and only give up 19/ppg. I don’t see those trends continuing, but I still think Squalicum wins 28-13.