SPORTS: Neah Bay falls to nemesis Lummi in 1B state football semifinals

TACOMA — The Lummi Blackhawk big-play machine struck again Saturday.

The second-ranked Blackhawks eliminated Neah Bay in the Class 1B state football semifinals for the second straight year with a 61-14 mercy-rule victory at the Tacoma Dome.

Lummi (12-1) rolled for 520 yards and eight touchdowns on offense and came up big when it mattered on the other side of the ball, denying Neah Bay (10-3) its first title-game appearance in 11 years.

“They did whatever they wanted,” Neah Bay head coach Tony McCaulley said. “I expect them to win a state championship. They are a really good football team.

“We’ve got to go back to the drawing board, get in the weight room and do it all again.”

Senior running back Eddy Williams gashed the Red Devils for 257 yards of offense and three touchdowns.

Quarterback Jeremy Roberts threw for 133 yards and two scores.

And the Blackhawks ripped off four scoring plays of 60 yards or more to overwhelm a young Red Devils squad featuring just two seniors.

“We’ve got a number of guys who can go the distance on any play,” Lummi coach Jim Sandusky said. “Other teams, I don’t know how they would scout [us].

“They’ve got to key on everybody.”

In a reversal of last year’s pregame story line, the Red Devils came into Saturday night’s having already lost twice to the Blackhawks this season.

Lummi gets big win

A year ago it was Lummi that entered the semifinals with two losses against its league rivals, only to beat them 64-36 on the big stage.

Unfortunately for the Red Devils, there would be no flipping of the script this time around.

Instead, Neah Bay was handed its third 1B semifinal loss since 2005.

“This was worse than last year, I can tell you that,” said red-eyed junior Titus Pascua, who scored both of the Red Devils’ touchdowns. “I wanted it so bad this year.

“We made it the same distance as last year and we couldn’t advance against the same team. We worked hard . . . but it didn’t happen.”

The game was a far cry from when the two teams met three weeks ago in Neah Bay.

The Red Devils stayed within striking distance of the Blackhawks the entire contest that night before eventually falling 41-30.

On Saturday, however, the Blackhawks scored five touchdowns on 15 offensive plays for a 35-6 halftime lead.

Lummi racked up 273 yards (172 on the ground) in five separate scoring drives during that time, benefitting from a short field on two possessions after stopping Neah Bay on fourth down twice in Red Devil territory.

“I think we started a little bit quicker [than three weeks ago],” Sandusky said. “We were able to stuff their run for the most part in the first half.

“We gave up some big plays on a pass and one on a quarterback bootleg, but other than that I think we held them in check on defense.

“And we were able to score quick on offense and get up on them. That was kind of a key right there.”

Neah Bay moved the ball as well, gaining 230 yards during the first half.

But the Red Devils’ inability to convert on third (4-of-9) and fourth downs (1-of-5) consistently kept them from finishing off drives.

Their lone touchdown in the first half came on a 33-yard run from Titus Pascua in the second quarter.

That wasn’t nearly enough to keep up with a Blackhawk offense that had five plays of 25 yards or more in its first 15 snaps.

“They are just stronger than we are,” McCaulley said. “They dominated the line of scrimmage.

“We kind of knew they were going to run at us. That was what I figured. And we just couldn’t stop them.”

Lummi quickly added to its advantage with three touchdowns in the third quarter, including a 60-yard run from Williams to begin the second half.

Neah Bay, forced out of its ground-and-pound game plan, extended the game with a 51-yard touchdown hookup between freshman quarterback Josiah Greene and Pascua.

That only delayed the inevitable, however, as Roberts triggered the 45-point mercy rule three plays into the fourth quarter with a 49-yard interception return for a score.

“We just couldn’t get the ball in [the end zone] early,” said McCaulley, whose team drove into Lummi territory on its first two possessions only to come up scoreless.

“If we could have scored on the earlier possessions, we could have stayed with our game, but when we have to change our game to more their style, they kill us.”

The Red Devils can at least take solace in the fact that many of them will have another shot to make it back to Tacoma again.

With just two seniors on the team, Neah Bay returns the bulk of its roster next fall.

That includes Pascua and Greene, who had a productive game through the air with 204 yards on 10-of-20 passing.

The freshman signal caller was intercepted twice but also completed bombs of 51 and 62 yards to Pascua.

Zeke Greene, also a freshman, added 70 yards on four catches.

“We won’t be satisfied until we win a state championship,” McCaulley said. “That’s where we’re headed.

“Getting beat this bad really leaves a bad taste in our mouths, but we still have a bright future.”

Lummi 61, Neah Bay 14

Neah Bay 0 6 8 0– 14

Lummi 8 27 20 6– 61

First Quarter

LU–Hoskins 66 pass from J. Roberts (Rivera pass from Robinson)

Second Quarter

LU–J. Roberts 4 run (kick no good)

NB–Pascua 33 run (run failed)

LU–Robinson 13 run (pass failed)

LU–Williams 13 run (Williams kick)

LU–Robinson 32 pass from Jameson (Hoskins pass from Jameson)

Third Quarter

LU–Williams 60 run (Williams kick)

LU–Williams 64 pass from J. Roberts (Williams kick)

NB–Pascua 51 pass from Josiah Green (Zeke Greene pass from Josiah Greene)

LU–Hoskins 1 run (kick no good)

Fourth Quarter

LU–J. Roberts 49 interception return (Game ends)

Individual Stats

Rushing– NB: Josiah Greene 19-100, Pascua 10-41, McCaulley 10-23. LU: Williams 6-193, Robinson 5-106, J. Roberts 4-37, Julius 1-17, Jameson 1-3, Hoskins 2-(minus 1).

Passing–NB: Josiah Greene 10-20-2, 204; Pascua 1-1-0, 14. LU: J. Roberts 3-4-0, 133; Jameson 1-2-1, 32.

Receiving–NB: Pascua 5-140, Zeke Greene 4-70, Cummins 1-7, L. Doherty 1-3. LU: Hoskins 1-67, Williams 1-64, Robinson 1-32D. Roberts 1-3.

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