The Spartans rallied but couldn’t overcome an early 14-0 deficit.
The roller coaster started with an explosion of offense in a span of 104 seconds in the second quarter. Stanwood twice trimmed Ferndale’s lead to seven points on Ryder Bumgarner rushing touchdowns — including a blistering 80-yard dash. But the Golden Eagles answered each score with two quick strikes of their own to help power Ferndale to a 48-30 Wesco 3A North win Friday at Blaine High School.
“That’s the type of game they could have easily folded, but they battled and battled and stayed in it,” head coach Jeff Scoma said. “They didn’t pack it in when they faced adversity. In fact, they fought harder.”
The Spartans had opportunities to put pressure on the No. 6-ranked Golden Eagles, but the stars didn’t align.
Stanwood’s long opening drive stalled on fourth down in the red zone, and a pair of onsides kicks later in the game were close to going the Spartans’ way.
“Scoring on the opening drive or getting the onsides kicks, and maybe it’s a different game,” Scoma said. “We just weren’t able to put them under a lot of stress.”
Ferndale put together two methodical scoring drives after halftime to build a 48-14 lead heading into the final frame.
Stanwood responded with a pair of scores and successful two-point conversions to trim the deficit.
Michael Mascotti found Tripp Loertscher for a 12-yard score over the middle, and Isaiah Hughes returned a fumble 61 yards for a TD.
But it proved too steep a hill to climb.
“We had our chances, but we’ve consistently gotten better every game," Scoma said. "Now, we’re looking to win Friday and really peak in the playoffs.”
The Spartans had 317 yards total offense, led by Bumgarner’s 178 yards and two scores on 21 carries. Noah Grina had 24 yards on seven carries, and Carson Beckt posted 20 yards on six attempts.
Mascotti had 90 yards and a touchdown on four of eight attempts.
On defense, Grina led with six tackles and four assists; Bumgarner had three tackles and four assists; and Beckt, Hughes and J. Lee each added two tackles apiece.
Ferndale’s win, coupled with Arlington’s upset of Marysville Pilchuck on Friday, creates a three-way tie atop the league standings.
That leaves the Spartans in control of the Wesco 3A North’s fourth seed for the Week 9 crossover games. Stanwood needs a win Friday over Mount Vernon or an Oak Harbor loss for the right to host a crossover game Oct. 29 against the No. 4 Wesco 3A South team — Lynnwood sits in that position currently.
“We control our own destiny, our own momentum,” Scoma said. “We want to win Friday and host that game.”