The old adage goes as follows: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
The Lummi Nation Blackhawks kept trying, nine times in fact, but Neah Bay kept handing them losses.
That is until the Class 1B state football semifinal Friday where the two rivals met for the second time this year. The Blackhawks edged out the Red Devils, 26-20, knocking off the defending champions.
“It has been a rivalry where it hasn’t bounced back and forth,” said Blackhawks head coach Jim Sandusky. “One team has just dominated the other.”
The game started off with both teams favoring the run, hitting each other hard and stifling offensive drives by forcing negative-yardage plays. After both teams felt each other out, the Blackhawks went to work at the Red Devils 42-yard line.
Lummi senior running back Hank Hoskins ran the ball as the workhorse for the offense, gaining six yards on the first play of the Blackhawks’ second possession. After a few incomplete passes by Jonathan Casimir, the ball found its way into Hoskins’ hands and quickly back out as he tossed a 36-yard floater to Free Borsey for the touchdown.
“We tried hard, we played hard, and we just won,” Hoskins said. “I feel good, I’m ready for the next game.”
As the Blackhawks’ offense put more points on the board, the defense was determined to continue its streak of eight consecutive scoreless quarters and was successful until the fourth quarter when the Red Devils started to wake up.
Sophomore quarterback Rwehabura Munyagi put Neah Bay on his shoulders as he threw for two touchdowns and ran for one more score in the fourth quarter.
“[Rwehabura] played really well down the stretch,” said Red Devils head coach Tony McCaulley. “He struggled a little bit early and we were missing some reads, but we started figuring some stuff out late and got going just a little too late.”
Lummi advances to play the winner of Liberty Christian and Almira Coulee Hartline for the 1B state championship that will be played Dec. 4, 4 p.m., at the Tacoma Dome.