LYNDEN - Quarterback Josh Kraght and his senior teammates tacked on six more touchdowns to the dozens upon dozens they have scored for Lynden, but two of the scores will long linger in the memory of one devoted upperclassman.
Hudson Gratton, a senior backup at more than a half-dozen positions who is listed as "athlete" in the program, scored his first varsity touchdown on a perfectly executed 34-yard pass from Kraght. Gratton then took over at quarterback and threw his first scoring pass in Lynden's 42-12 Northwest Conference victory over Sedro-Woolley on Friday, Sept. 21.
Gratton's first score was also special for Kraght, whom Gratton credited for helping him improve to the point where he's making the significant contributions he has dreamed while toiling four years in the defending state Class 2A champion Lions' football program.
"Josh is a good guy on and off the field," said Gratton of the all-state quarterback, who hopes to lead Lynden to another Class 2A state title. "Over the summer, he took the time to really help me improve."
Likewise, Kraght was impressed with how Gratton handled his first scoring opportunity for Lynden (3-1, 2-0 NWC 3A/2A), which came in the final minute of the first half.
"Hudson ran a good route (over the middle). It was exactly what we wanted," said Kraght, who did not play in the second half because Gratton's touchdown catch produced a 35-0 lead. "That was a real good one. I was happy for Hudson. He's the kind of guy who has made our program successful."
On Lynden's first series of the second half, Gratton got his first extended varsity shot at playing quarterback and threw an impressive 14-yard scoring pass to senior John Shine.
Kraght and fellow seniors Luke Christianson and Dak Shagren took care of the first-half fireworks, as they have done so often. Kraght, who completed 11 of 14 passes for 167 yards, threw nicely executed touchdown strikes of 12 and 29 yards to Shagren. Kraght, who rushed six times for 65 yards, scored the first touchdown on a 29-yard run. Kraght has completed 49 of 69 for 687 yards.
Christianson, back from an injury, rushed 14 times for 129 yards and one touchdown and caught six passes for 59 yards.
"The best news is that I don't think we had anyone hurt," said Lynden coach Curt Kramme, who has had to contend with more than his share of injuries. "We have an exceptionally large group of seniors (23 on the roster) and I think they all got in tonight."
Kramme called Gratton's memorable touchdown "a really nice play on both ends." Then he couldn't help thinking about all the coaches at all the levels of football in Lynden.
"You have to go all the way back to our youth programs," he said. "All our Lynden coaches are the guys who have made players (like Gratton) want to take part."
Kraght pointed out how grateful he has been that his offensive line starters - seniors Bret DeGraaff, Casey Halbert, Marcus Fakkema, Caleb Newman and Matt Meyer - have stayed healthy. The blew open holes at will on four drives of 60 or more yards for the Lions' first four scores.
Defensively, a charge often led by Lynden's Jaremy Martin held Sedro-Woolley (1-3, 02 NWC 3A/2A) to 89 yards in the first half. Hard-running junior fullback Shawn Kennedy, who came in with 350 yards rushing, was held to 29 yards on 8 carries in the first half and finished with 64 yards on 13. Junior quarterback Braden Blouin completed 14 of 19 passes but was held to 108 yards by Lynden's sure-tackling defensive backs.
Following Gratton's touchdown pass in the opening minutes of the second half, the rest of the game was played with a running clock. Sedro-Woolley had enough time to score on Kyle Morgan's 5-yard run and Blouin's 23-yard pass to Ethan VanLiew.
Sedro-Woolley 0 0 6 6- 12
Lynden 14 21 7 0- 42
Lyn - Josh Kraght 29 run (Alex Otano-Guenther kick)
Lyn - Dak Shagren 12 pass from Kraght (Otano-Guenther kick)
Lyn - Luke Christianson 1 run (Otano-Guenther kick)
Lyn - Shagren 29 pass from Kraght (Otano-Guenther kick)
Lyn - Hudson Gratton 34 pass from Kraght (Otano-Guenther kick)
Lyn - John Shine 14 pass from Gratton (Otano-Guenther kick)
SW - Kyle Morgan 5 run (run failed)
SW - Ethan VanLiew 23 pass from Braden Blouin (run failed)
First downs 12 19
Rushing Att-Yards 25-118 27-196
Comp-Att-Int 14-19-1 16-22-0
Passing yards 108 229
Penalties-yards 3-25 1-5
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
RUSHING - Sedro-Woolley: Shawn Kennedy 13-64, Tanner Newton 3-15, Braden Blouin 1-(-4), Mason Elms 2-17, Kyle Morgan 3-12, Clayton Johnson 3-14. Lynden: Luke Christianson 14-129, Josh Kraght 6-65, Hudson Gratton 3-8, Colby Spady 2-(-2), Dimitriy Telega 1-(-3), Kaydn Williams 1-(-1).
PASSING - Sedro-Woolley: Braden Blouin 14-19-1-108. Lynden: Josh Kraght 12-15-0-167; Hudson Gratton 4-7-0-62.
RECEIVING - Sedro-Woolley: Kyle Morgan 3-20, Mason Elms 3-5, Shawn Kennedy 1-0, Ethan VanLiew 2-34, Gabe Farmer 2-12, Kyle Robbins 2-20, Dominic Farmer 1-17. Lynden: Dak Shagren 2-32, Luke Christianson 6-59, John Shine 3-48, Jalani Phelps 1-8, Hudson Gratton 1-34, Scooter Hastings 3-48.