Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News Neah Bay’s Rwehabura Munyagi (10) avoids Lummi’s Raven Borsey (13) in Neah Bay’s game against Lummi in September. Also in on the play from Neah Bay are from left, Caleb Revey (21) Phillip Greene (12).

Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News Neah Bay’s Rwehabura Munyagi (10) avoids Lummi’s Raven Borsey (13) in Neah Bay’s game against Lummi in September. Also in on the play from Neah Bay are from left, Caleb Revey (21) Phillip Greene (12).

PREP FOOTBALL: Neah Bay, Lummi familiar foes in 1B State semifinal

NEAH BAY — On the field, it’s a take-no-prisoners battle to the end. Off the field, it’s an extended family full of hugs and respect and shared meals.

Neah Bay and Lummi will be meeting for the seventh time in eight years in the State 1B Semifinals Saturday (Everett Stadium, 4 p.m.). Simply put, to get to the state championship, the two teams pretty much have to go through each other. And it’s been that way for a while now.

Once upon a time, Lummi had Neah Bay’s number in the rivalry, beating the Red Devils in “all the big games,” said Neah Bay head coach Tony McCaulley.

But, from 2011 to 2014, Neah Bay beat Lummi every year in the postseason. Lummi finally got its revenge last year, beating Neah Bay 26-20 in the State 1B semifinal. That playoff win by Lummi was also monumental because it broke a Neah Bay 35-game winning streak. Ten months later in September, Lummi won again by the exact same margin 36-30 in a regular-season game. It remains Neah Bay’s only loss of the year.

This year, the two Northwest 1B teams meet on Saturday with one loss between them. Neah Bay (9-1) is ranked No. 3. Lummi (11-0) is ranked No. 1.

It will be the eighth straight year the two school meet in the football postseason and the fifth straight time in the semifinals.

McCaulley it’s a “pretty intense” rivalry. One that extends past football as almost all of the Neah Bay and Lummi kids play basketball and see each other all over again on basketball courts in the winter.

“But, there’s also a lot of respect. We get together after the game, talk, have dinner, prayers. Between the white lines, it’s intense,” he said.

McCaulley thinks it will be important for the Red Devils to come into Saturday’s game and be fired up from the start. One difference in the tight rivalry he saw in the previous two losses is that Neah Bay .

“I think in both of those games, we started a little flat,” he said. “They had us figured out early.”

In fact, in 2015 semifinal, Lummi got out to a 26-0 lead and Neah Bay roared back with 20 points in the fourth quarter, but the Red Devils’ comeback fell one score short.

Again, in September, Lummi got out to a 24-6 lead and withstood a furious Neah Bay comeback in the second half to hold on.

Another big factor will be turnovers. In both of those Neah Bay losses, Lummi won the battle of turnovers. And one turnover, especially late in the game, can decide the contest.

“A play here and a play there make all the difference,” McCaulley said.

The Red Devils have been practicing in mud and rain to get ready for less-than-ideal conditions and to learn the importance of keeping their hands on the ball.

There are expected to be showers in Saturday’s game at Everett Stadium, but it is FieldTurf, so there won’t be any mud.

The game will be broadcast on Forks Radio 1490 AM.

The other State 1B semifinal will be Sunnyside Christian versus Odessa-Harrington. The 1B State Championship will be held Dec. 3 at the Tacoma Dome.

More in Sports

Courtesy photo
The Forks softball team celebrates representing the west side of the state and qualifying for the state 2B tournament at the Southwest 1/4 tournament this weekend.
SOFTBALL: Four Olympic Peninsula teams prepare for state tournaments

Four north Olympic Peninsula high school teams begin play at… Continue reading

Adrian Brown, Sequim track and field.
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Adrian Brown, Sequim track and field

Adrian Brown has quietly put together a dominant season in track and… Continue reading

AREA SPORTS BRIEFS: Four PA, Sequim players make all-Olympic League baseball first team

Port Angeles got three players on the baseball all-Olympic League… Continue reading

Sequim's Riley Pyeatt (1) won the 400, 800, 1,600 and anchored the Wolves' 4x400 girls relay team that took first at the 2A West-Central District 3 track and field meet in Belfair. (Michel Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
DISTRICT TRACK: Pyeatt dominates; Sequim girls second

East Jefferson boys and girls second at 1A meet

After a two-year hiatus, the Rhody Run took off again on Sunday in a new venue, the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. At the starting gun, the trio of Owen Chamberlain, from Tacoma, John Munro, from Port Townsend and the city manager, and Seamus Fraser, from Port Townsend, lead the pack around the 6.2-mile (10K) course. Fraser won the event with an official time of 35 minutes, 12.33 seconds. Munro was first in his age group of 45-49 and third overall with a time of 36:56.72. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
OUTDOOR SPORTS: Rhody Run returns in style

More than 900 runners took part in the 2022… Continue reading

Sequim's Malory Morey returns a volley with teammate Jordan Hegtvedt in the background in the West-Central District 3 tennis tournament held this weekend in Bremerton. Morey and Hegtvedt won two matches at district. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
DISTRICT GIRLS TENNIS: Sequim’s Hastings finishes second

Sequim’s Kendall Hastings won three matches to come in second… Continue reading

Sequim softball players relax after swamping Sammamish 21-1 in the Class 2A West Central District Softball Tournament at the RAC in Lacey. The Wolves sealed a state tournament berth with the win.
PREP ROUNDUP: Sequim and Port Angeles softball seal up state tournament berths with wins Friday

Sequim faces Fife, Port Angeles takes on Olympic Saturdays in semifinals

Most Read