BELLINGHAM - Lynden's defense week after week has made a habit of shutting down opposing offenses.
Kingston became the latest victim.
The No. 2-ranked Lions bullied the Buccaneers' offensive line, bottled up Kingston's rushing attack and took away the passing attack Friday, Nov. 15, at Civic Stadium.
Even with the defensive unit's strong play this fall, it did something to Kingston the group hasn't done to any other team this year: post a shutout.
The Lions generated four turnovers, and Lynden's Sterling Somers-led offense eventually got rolling to earn a 34-0 Class 2A State Playoff first-round win.
"Once again our defense was outstanding," Lynden coach Curt Kramme said. "It's a team effort ... I know that our two inside linebackers are two really good football players. I could hear our coaches on the phone say our nose-guard James Cuny was doing well against their center."
The Lions (11-0, 7-0 NWC 2A/3A) manhandled Kingston in the trenches, allowing only 44 rushing yards. After a first down during the Buccaneers' first drive, they didn't record another one until there was less than four minutes left in the half.
Lynden came away with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries and held Kingston to 141 total yards of offense. Linebackers Jaremy Martin and Trent Postma played outstandingly.
But most importantly, Lynden's defense didn't give up the big play.
"The whole key to our defense all year long is that we haven't given up the big plays," Kramme said. "Sometimes they get 5, 10, 15 yards, but they haven't got to the end."
The state win was the first many Lions played a direct role in after watching last year's postseason run from the sideline.
Safety Rudy Mendoza said it gives the team a surge of confidence heading into next week's matchup against Sumner, which will be played either Friday or Saturday, Nov. 22-23, at Civic Stadium.
"We just flew around," Mendoza said. "That's all we focused on this week. They're a good team. They like to run, and we just flew around."
Lynden's defense gave enough time for its offense to get going. Somers connected with Scooter Hastings, who caught five passes for 81 yards, on a 20-yard fade-route to put the Lions in front 7-0 after Lynden's first drive stalled deep in Kingston territory.
Somers finished 12 of 19, completing seven straight at one point, for 165 yards and a pair of TD tosses. He also threw one interception. The sophomore signal-caller noticeably was throwing with more confidence.
"It feels better, just getting more comfortable," he said. "I feel like we are getting better every possession. We just have to keep getting better and executing."
Lynden scored on four consecutive possessions following a turnover on downs after a Kingston safety in which the Buccaneers long-snapper sent a ball sailing into his own end zone.
Martin took a direct snap from 7 yards out and scored to give Lynden a 16-0 lead with 4:21 left until halftime, and Postma, who finished with 92 yards on 15 carries, capped Lynden's second-half opening possession with a 1-yard plunge to put the Lions in front 22-0.
Lynden added five more points to its lead before the third period ended thanks to a second Kingston snapping debacle ending in a safety and an Alex Otano-Guenther 23-yard field goal.
Martin sealed the game with an 11-yard touchdown reception from Somers with 11:56 to go in the fourth.
Somers also carried the ball 12 times for 40 yards, and Kramme said he's pleased with how his QB has progressed within the offense.
"He is a great athlete and a good student of the game," Kramme said. "He's going to continue to get better and better, and probably the big bonus with him is his running. We weren't expecting to get that kind of running ability out of him."
Jordan Wittenberg had 37 receiving yards on three catches, and Dimitriy Telega recovered a momentum-shifting pooch kick after Lynden's first score.
Reach Andrew Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.
Kingston 0 0 0 0- 0
Lynden 7 9 11 7- 34
LYN - Scooter Hastings 20 pass from Sterling Somers (Alex Otano-Guenther kick)
LYN - Safety
LYN - Jaremy Martin 7 run (Otano-Guenther kick)
LYN - Trent Postma 1 run (pass fail)
LYN - Otano-Guenther 23 field goal
LYN - Safety
LYN - Martin 11 pass from Somers (Otano-Guenther kick)
First downs 9 26
Rushing Att-Yards 24-44 48-223
Comp-Att-Int 7-17-2 13-21-1
Passing yards 97 168
Penalties-yards 5-45 4-40
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-1
RUSHING - Kingston: Aaron Dickson 14-60, Nick Tabanera 6-1, Robert Reece 4-(-17). Lynden: Trent Postma 15-92, Sterling Somers 12-40, Jaremy Martin 7-38, Cameron Wainwright 9-10, Colby Spady 5-43.
PASSING - Kingston: Robert Reece 7-17-2-97. Lynden: Sterling Somers 12-19-1-165, Cameron Wainwright 1-2-0-3.
RECEIVING - Kingston: We Chiquiti 4-70, Henry English 2-16, Aaron Dickson 1-11. Lynden: Scooter Hastings 5-81, Jordan Wittenberg 3-37, Jaremy Martin 2-26, Jalani Phelps 2-21, Trent Postma 1-3.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.