SUMNER - Lynden coach Curt Kramme has found the perfect recipe for success, and he's not planning to change anything anytime soon.
Not even a tangled first-down chain was going to put a kink in those plans.
Sparked by a 290-yard, five-touchdown passing performance by quarterback Josh Kraght, the Lynden football team started the running clock early and rolled to a 42-7 victory at Sumner in the Class 2A state quarterfinals Saturday, Nov. 17.
The Lions move on to the state semifinals for the sixth time in seven years, where they will face Captial on either Friday or Saturday, Nov. 23 or 24, at the Tacoma Dome.
"It's always nice to play indoors," Kraght said. "It's starting to rain now, and we won't have to deal with that next week."
Just like they did in a Northwest District playoff win over Sumner two weeks ago and last week's first-round victory over Mark Morris, the Lions (11-1) won the coin toss and elected to receive.
But as they prepared to line up for their first play from scrimmage, the chain crew at Sunset Chev Stadium realized a knot in the chain, which took more than eight minutes to unwind.
But even that delay couldn't derail Lynden's plan to jump on top early and often.
Lynden did need to convert a fourth-and-2 play at the Sumner 40 for their initial first down, but Kraght managed to get the spot, and five plays later he hooked up with Jalani Phelps along the right sideline in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown pass.
It was a spot on the field Kraght would grow to love, as he found Zach Vis from 7 yards out on the Lions' second possession to make it 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
"They were stacking the box, so we had to throw it," Kraght said. "It was just getting the ball to the guy in favorable coverage."
Kraght did have a hiccup on Lynden's third possession, when Austin Ford made a nice play for an interception, but Kraght found Vis over the middle for a 13-yard touchdown to open the second quarter.
The senior quarterback capped off another drive with a 1-yard run to make it 28-0 with 8:27 left in the half, before he connected with Phelps for two more TDs along the right sideline of 16 and 18 yards, the second of which was set up by John Shine's interception and 28-yard return.
In addition to the three touchdown receptions, Phelps had seven catches for 127 yards, while Vis had nine catches for 93 yards and two TDs.
"Those guys were tremendous," Kraght said. "I just had to put the ball up and let them get it."
While Kraght had the Lynden offense in high gear, the Lions defense was equally as impressive, holding Sumner, which had a pair of 100-yard rushers a week earlier against Kingston, to 90 yards of total offense in the first half and three first downs.
Lynden, for comparison, finished the half with 19 first downs and 348 yards of total offense.
Reach David Rasbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2286.
Lynden 14 28 0 0- 42
Sumner 0 0 0 7- 7
Lyn - Jalani Phelps 6 pass from Josh Kraght (Alex Otano-Guenther kick)
Lyn - Zach Vis 7 pass from Kraght (Otano-Guenther kick)
Lyn - Vis 13 pass from Kraght (Otano-Guenter kick)
Lyn - Kraght 1 run (Otano-Guenther kick)
Lyn - Phelps 16 pass from Kraght (Otano-Guenther kick)
Lyn - Phelps 18 pass from Kraght (Otano-Guenther kick)
Sum - Lakahi Kamau 23 run (Michael Smith kick)
First downs 23 10
Rushing Att-Yards 25-122 31-105
Comp-Att-Int 21-32-1 12-23-1
Passing yards 302 118
Penalties-yards 2-10 5-48
Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-1
RUSHING - Lynden: Luke Christianson 9-45, Josh Kraght 7-25, Trent Postma 2-13, Zach Vis 2-15, Ryan Mouat 1-4, Cameron Wainwright 2-11, Jesse Fremolaro 1-1, Colby Spady 1-8. Sumner: Lokahi Kamau 20-79, DeJon Lynch 5-6, Austin Gregg 1-6, Jeremy Jackson 3-15, Chase Torgison 1-(-1), Brandon Tuilaepa 1-0.
PASSING - Lynden: Josh Kraght 21-30-1-290, Sterling Somers 1-1-0-12, Cameron Wainwright 0-1-0-0. Sumner: Chase Torgison 12-23-1-118.
RECEIVING - Lynden: Zach Vis 9-93, Luke Christianson 3-26, Jalani Phelps 7-127, John Shine 2-44, Kody Ames 1-12. Sumner: Lakahi Kamau 3-21, Austin Gregg 3-25, DeJon Lynch 1-16, Codey Johnson 2-12, Ryan Taylor 2-13, Montana Galias 1-13.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.