RECORD: 9-1 – COACH: Bob Ames
LEAGUE: 8-0 (1st Place in the NCC)
CLASSIFICATION: 2A – Playoffs: Lost in 1st Round
POINTS PER GAME: 40.2 – POINTS ALLOWED PER GAME: 4.4
POINT DIFFERENTIAL: +35.8
GAME BY GAME:
Week 1: Meridian 19, Lynden Christian 13
Week 2: Meridian 6, Mount Baker 3
Week 3: Meridian 59, South Whidbey 7
Week 4: Meridian 51, Sultan 0
Week 5: Meridian 42, Granite Falls 0
Week 6: Meridian 59, Blaine 0
Week 7: Meridian 51, Lakewood 0
Week 8: Meridian 77, North Surrey (BC) 0
Week 9: Meridian 26, Nooksack Valley 7
State Playoffs: 1st Round: Rochester 14, Meridian 12
The 2002 version of the Trojans were loaded with talent, they took care of the regular season, but lost a heart-breaker in the first round of the state playoffs.
Sophomore Jordan Slesk had a great season, especially for his first year as a starting quarterback. He completed 79 passes for 1290 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 1290 yards passing broke the Whatcom County record for a sophomore. He also ran for three touchdowns.
Senior running back Jesse Alderson had another magical season, and he was named the League’s Offensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row. He rushed for 1722 yards (9.9 average) and he became the first player in Whatcom County history to score 30 touchdowns in a season. He was also named All-League 1st Team, as well as All-State 2nd Team. He was joined in the backfield by burly junior fullback, Brady Emmons. He ran for 252 yards (7.6) and four touchdowns, and was named All-League 2nd Team. Senior Colin Morris added 281 yards on the ground (5.7) and three touchdowns.
Slesk spread the wealth in the passing game, with seven different players gaining over 100 yards receiving. Sophomore Matt Hagen led the team with 14 receptions, for 188 yards (13.4) and two touchdowns. Junior Cody Bowden and senior Willie Wantz each made huge plays in the passing game, each averaging over 20 yards per catch. Senior tight end Tyler Ruzicka was named All-League 2nd Team, catching eight passes for 141 yards (17.6) and a pair of scores.
The offensive line was loaded with underclassmen. Juniors Steve Auld, Dustin Knight, Tristan Burgess and Tyler Hazen were all named All-League 1st Team, and collectively, they were a huge reason for Alderson’s record-breaking season. The Trojans ran for over 2600 yards and passed for over 1200 yards.
The defense shut five opponents out in a row during the season. Burgess (from the interior) and Bowden (off the edge) controlled the defensive line, and were each named All-League 1st Team. Emmons was named the League’s Defensive Player of the Year, and was dominant at inside linebacker. Auld was also force at linebacker, and was also named All-League 1st Team. They were joined by senior Josh Hurst, who was an All-League 2nd Team selection. Alderson was an All-League 2nd Team pick in the secondary.
Senior Josh Ramey was named All-League 1st Team at kicker, and he booted 36 extra points and one field goal. Alderson was named All-State as a kick returner, and handled most of the return duties.