LAUREL — It's not often a 4-7 team qualifies for the postseason, let alone advances into the state tournament, but the Trojans have done just that — and earned it.
The Trojans played what might have been the toughest 1A schedule in the state, including defending 1A champion Colville, ninth-ranked 2A Sedro-Woolley, a powerhouse Amador squad from California, and the No. 5 and 7 Class 1A seeds, Baker and LC, twice.
Two of their four wins came in the postseason, in loser-out games where the Trojans decimated North Sound Conference opponents Granite Falls (44-8) and NSC champ King’s (71-30).
Despite the losing record, Meridian was awarded the No. 14 seed over 6-3 Cashmere and a 9-1 Charles Wright team. The Trojans now take on undefeated No. 3 seed Montesano (10-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Montesano High School way over in Grays Harbor County.
Evergreen 1A champion Montesano is a powerhouse, having won games this season by an average astonishing points differential of 53-6. The Bulldogs’ lowest-scoring total on offense was 41 points, and their defense has pitched four shutouts.
"Typical Monte team," Meridian coach Bob Ames said. "They do everything right, they're fundamentally sound and they're really big this year."
The Bulldogs are more of a spread, finesse-style offense, rival Hoquiam coach Jeremy McMillan said. On the other side they run an odd defense and fly all over the field.
Ames said the Bulldogs are like a combination of Mount Baker and Lynden Christian, not formation-wise but the way they use their skill players.
The last time the two teams met was in the 2017 state quarterfinals.
"They look the same with the things they do," Ames said. "They just have bigger and faster guys this time."