LYNDEN - These Lynden Lions have placed an emphasis on establishing their own identity, winning games their own way and leaving the 2012 state champion team in the past.
They took a major step in that direction against Anacortes Friday night, Sept. 13, at Rollie DeKoster Field in Lynden.
Lynden employed a combination of its play-making defense, strong special teams and steady but still growing offense to hand Anacortes a 51-14 Class 2A/3A Northwest Conference loss during the Lions' home opener.
While many of the players' faces have changed since the Lynden fans last saw their Lions play a home game, the result was largely the same - a Lynden-style beat down.
"Obviously, it's the home opener, but it's the first league game of the year," Lynden coach Curt Kramme said. "It doesn't matter what happened last week. We need to play our game, and I had no idea where Anacortes was at. ... They battled, and fortunately we played well tonight. Our defense gave our offense some short fields, and we capitalized on it."
Senior linebacker Jaremy Martin and Trent Postma intercepted Anacortes quarterback Jared Douglas, Lynden forced and recovered a fumble on a kickoff and senior Dimitriy Telega made a heads-up tackle on an early Anacortes fake punt. Each play set up new Lynden quarterback Lucas Petersen and the offense with prime field position, which helped the junior achieve this week's offensive objective.
"Last week we had a lot of drives that we didn't finish," Petersen said of Lynden's 14-6 win against King's during the Emerald City Kickoff Classic at Husky Stadium in Seattle. "That was one of our goals this week. We wanted to finish every drive, at least score on every one. I think we did that on every one in the first half."
And Petersen was a big part of the reason. He scored on a pair of 1-yard plunges to help Lynden build a 20-0 lead following a 6-yard opening-drive TD run from Martin. Petersen also showed his speed and shiftiness with a 21-yard touchdown scramble down the right sideline with less than three minutes left in the half. He capped his night with a 23-yard touchdown strike to receiver Scooter Hastings with 8 seconds remaining until halftime.
Petersen's night was over after the first half, as he rushed for the three TDs and finished 9 of 17 for 120 yards and one TD passing.
Lynden did, in fact, score on each of its six first-half possessions.
"I don't know how you cannot like it," Kramme said of his offense. "Lucas did a nice job."
Running back Trent Postma, who finished with 153 yards on 12 carries and a 79-yard touchdown, kept the chains moving and helped Lynden pick up 25 first downs.
The Lions defense was just as impressive as the offense. It didn't allow a first down until three minutes into the second quarter and surrendered only 37 first-half rushing yards. Defensive ends Bryce Sterk and Jalani Phelps each recorded sacks.
Anacortes didn't score until it was trailing 51-0 with 10:17 left in the fourth quarter and the running clock was instated.
"Our defense did really well," Petersen said. "They played really well, held them to zero in the first half. They played physical. That's all you can do."
Kicker Alex Otano-Guenther drilled a 26-yard first-half field goal, which was part of Lynden's 37-0 halftime lead. Backup quarterback Cameron Wainwright connected with receiver Trey Shagren on a 22-yard TD scored early in the third quarter and Postma's 79-yard touchdown dash toward the end of the third made it 51-0.
Led by Phelps' four catches for 47 yards, six different receivers caught passes. Petersen finished with 10 carries for 42 yards, and Martin, Lynden's power back, carried five times for 33 yards.
"We just want to send a message to the whole league that we can still play, and we're not going to be compared to last year," Petersen said. "We're a new team, and we can still win."
Lynden travels to Mount Baker next for a non-conference game at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, in Deming.
Reach Andrew Lang at email@example.com or call 360-756-2862.
Anacortes 0 0 0 14- 14
Lynden 14 23 14 0- 51
LYN - Jaremy Martin 6 run (Alex Otano-Guenther kick)
LYN - Lucas Petersen 1 run (Otano-Guenther kick)
LYN - Petersen 1 run (kick fail)
LYN - Otano-Guenther 26 Field Goal
LYN - Petersen 21 run (Otano-Guenther kick)
LYN - Scooter Hastings 23 pass from Petersen (Otano-Guenther kick)
LYN - Trey Shagren 32 pass from Cameron Wainwright (Otano-Guenther kick)
LYN - Trent Postma 79 run (Otano-Guenther kick)
ANA - P.J. Monroe 1 run (Kyle Jones kick)
ANA - Austin Drawdy 1 run (Jones kick)
First downs 12 25
Rushing Att-Yards 33-155 32-249
Comp-Att-Int 6-12-2 13-23-0
Passing yards 109 186
Penalties-yards 1-5 6-51
Fumbles-lost 2-1 0-0
RUSHING - Anacortes: P.J. Monroe 12-72, Jared Douglas 8-16, Nick Monroe 3-12, Eli Gallo 3-23, Joe D'Amelio 1-3, Tristen Hayes 1-3, Logan Sad 1-4, Logan Eby 1-6, Austin Drawdy 3-16. Lynden: Trent Postma 12-153, Jaremy Martin 5-33, Lucas Petersen 10-42, Cameron Wainwright 1-7, Dalton Ohligschlager 1-8, Sterling Somers 1-2, Colby Spady 1-3, Nathan Gomes 1-1 .
PASSING - Anacortes: Jared Douglas 5-11-2-93, Tristen Hayes 1-1-0-16. Lynden: Lucas Petersen 9-17-0-120, Cameron Wainwright 4-5-0-66, Sterling Somers 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING - Anacortes: Eli Gallo 2-44, Zach Vance 1-6, Andrew Medalia 2-43, Tristen Harris 1-16. Lynden: Jalani Phelps 4-47, Scooter Hastings 3-67, Trey Shagren 3-56, Trent Postma 1-2, Cameron Wainwright 1-1, Jaremy Martin 1-13.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.