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Peninsula Daily News
SILVERDALE — The Neah Bay football players and coaches now can think about Lummi.
Josiah Greene threw five touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead the Red Devils to a 50-0 state quarterfinal win over Mary M. Knight on Saturday night at Silverdale Stadium.
Defending state champion Neah Bay’s victory sets up a showdown with the Lummi Blackhawks in next week’s semifinal round of the 1B state playoffs.
The Red Devils spent the week committed to not overlooking Mary M. Knight by thinking ahead to a potential matchup with their nemesis and rivals from Bellingham.
The Owls showed they were worthy of Neah Bay’s full attention from the start of the game, especially on defense as they held the Red Devils scoreless in the first quarter.
“They played outstanding defense, they played really good,” Neah Bay coach Tony McCaulley said.
“They came up with a good game plan.”
Lummi (48) and Lopez (50) are the only other teams to hold Neah Bay to 50 points or less this season.
The Devils finally made it to the scoreboard a little more than a minute into the second quarter when Greene found Tyler McCaulley down the sideline for an 85-yard touchdown pass.
Neah Bay scored twice more before halftime.
First on a 22-yard touchdown run by Greene in which he bolted down the sideline, then cut right and weaved across the field before reaching paydirt.
The next score was set up by a failed fake punt by Mary M. Knight that gave the Devils the ball on the Owls’ 23-yard line with 44 seconds before intermission.
On the first play of the drive, Greene hooked up with Leyton Dougherty for the first of their three touchdown connections, and Neah Bay led 20-0 at halftime.
“Our offense struggled a little bit. I don’t know if it’s the rust of having a week off or they just had a really good scheme,” Tony McCaulley said.
“I think we struggled with it. We picked it up and we kind of wore them out — that’s our game, that’s kind of what we do.”
The third quarter was another defensive slugfest between the two teams.
“Our defense was outstanding, but offensively we just came out a little slow,” Neah Bay lineman John Reamer said.
“They’re a solid team, but we just ended up getting it going after a while.”
Neah Bay started to roll when Zeke Greene took a reverse 48 yards for a touchdown with about three minutes left in the period.
The Devils scored next early in the fourth quarter when Josiah Greene completed a screen pass to Reamer, who scampered the rest of the way for an 82-yard touchdown pass.
“He doesn’t get many of those,” Tony McCaulley said of Reamer’s score.
“That was a good play. We caught them off-guard with a guard-eligible [play], and we got it in there.
“You’ve got to give those linemen a little love every once in a while.”
The scoring concluded with 63- and 29-yard touchdown tosses from Josiah Greene to Doherty.
While the long touchdowns were nice, Tony McCaulley was disappointed the Devils didn’t grind out a few long, methodical drives.
“We don’t like to rely on big plays,” he said.
“We want to drive the ball and run our offense to where we can get some stuff going. We like to control the clock.
“I mean, we’ll take the big plays, don’t get me wrong, but I’d like to run our offense a little better.
“We weren’t real sharp tonight. We were a little rusty. It might have been the week off.
“But I’ve got to give Mary M. Knight all the credit in the world. They came out with a good defensive scheme against our run game, and they played it well.”
Neah Bay has no complaints about relying on its defense, especially when it does as well as it did Saturday.
“Our defense played just outstanding,” Tony McCaulley said.
“Our defensive coach, T.J. Greene, did an excellent job preparing for this and we’ve got to give it up to him. They played good; [Mary M. Knight] only had a couple of first downs.”
Josiah Greene said the improved offense in the second half was the result of better blocking against the Owls’ blitz.
“We just got the blocking down, so that opened up a lot more time for me and for the receivers to run their routes right,” he said.
The offensive output would have been even better if multiple touchdowns and long gains hadn’t been called back due to penalties.
The game was marred by a scary moment with nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when Mary M. Knight’s Austin Thompson had to be taken away in an ambulance after he made a tackle.
Next weekend’s semifinal matchup between Neah Bay and Lummi has been highly anticipated since the Devils beat the Blackhawks 48-28 in September.
Lummi reached the semifinals by beating Taholah 62-26 in Aberdeen on Saturday afternoon.
The Blackhawks trailed the Chitwins 18-6 at halftime before a 40-point third-quarter outburst turned their fortunes around.
“That’s going to be a tough one,” Josiah Greene said of next week’s game.
“We can’t start slow against them.”
Neah Bay 50, Mary Knight 0
Mary Knight 0 0 0 0— 0
Neah Bay 0 20 8 22— 50
NB—Tyler McCaulley 85 pass from Josiah Greene (Josiah Greene run)
NB—Josiah Greene 22 run (run failed)
NB—Leyton Daugherty 23 pass from Josiah Greene (run failed)
NB—Zeke Greene 48 run (Zeke Greene pass from Josiah Greene)
NB—John Reamer 82 pass from Josiah Greene (pass failed)
NB—Leyton Daugherty 63 pass from Josiah Greene (Zeke Greene pass from Josiah Greene)
NB—Leyton Daugherty 29 pass from Josiah Greene (Zeke Greene pass from Josiah Greene)