Lions' offense showcases its abilities in lopsided state quarterfinal win

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 22, 2013 

BELLINGHAM - Lynden's first-half performance was simply mind-numbing. The Lions piled up points so fast and used so many different playmakers to do it, Sumner had no to time to process what had happened.

Everything Lynden did, worked. The Spartans, meanwhile, appeared overwhelmed in nearly every facet of the game.

Lynden traveled to Sumner for the Class 2A state quarterfinals last year and utilized the passing game to beat the Spartans by five touchdowns. A year later, the No. 2-ranked Lions again relied on the air attack to move past Sumner.

Lynden led by four touchdowns less than 11 minutes in and scored twice before Sumner even touched the ball, as the Lions easily put together their finest showing of the year, beating No. 4-ranked undefeated Sumner 54-21 on a chilly evening Friday, Nov. 22, at Civic Stadium.

The Lions advance to the state semifinals and will travel to face either Ellensburg or Othello on Saturday, Nov. 30, in Moses Lake. The loss ends Sumner's season.

"We had a really good practice, and I knew something good was coming," said Lynden receiver Jordan Wittenberg, who finished with five catches for 123 yards and a touchdown.

But this good?

"I did not," admitted a smiling Jalani Phelps, who caught three passes for 29 yards and two scores. "It's great to see our offense working on all cylinders - our O-line blocking, our running backs running hard, our quarterback throwing and our receivers catching. It was a great team win."

The 54 points was the most Lynden has scored all season. It had 47 of those by halftime.

Lions quarterback Sterling Somers, who in Week 7 earned his first start of the season after replacing injured starter Lucas Petersen, had a career day, completing 13 of 19 passes for 276 yards and five touchdowns, and the Lynden signal-caller had plenty of options to throw to.

Sumner filled the box, leaving man-to-man coverage on the outside. Lynden's lanky receivers outmatched Sumner's shorter secondary players and took advantage throughout the game. Besides Phelps and Wittenberg, 6-foot-7 receiver Scooter Hastings had a game-high 124 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions.

"I am just so proud of these young guys to come out here," Lynden coach Curt Kramme said. "We knew Sumner was capable of ending our season."

Lynden quickly captured the game's momentum with a six-play, 68-yard opening-drive touchdown, which was capped with an 8-yard Phelps TD reception. The Lions recovered a pooch kick, although Kramme called it a miss-hit from Lynden kicker Alex Otano-Guenther, on the ensuing kickoff and were in the end zone six plays later. Only 3:22 had come off the clock.

"For us to get the ball and take it right down the field and score was a huge statement," Kramme said.

Sumner fumbled and punted during its next two possessions, and Lynden answer with its third and fourth straight touchdown drive out of eight in row to start the game.

A 2-yard TD run from Trent Postma, who compiled 95 yards on 10 carries, and a 8-yard TD strike from Somers to Wittenberg gave Lynden a 28-0 lead with 1:04 to go in the first quarter.

Somers recorded 150 yards passed and threw three TDs all in the first quarter to lead Lynden's offense, which played nearly flawless.

Lynden's defense was equally impressive, stopping Sumner's highly-regarded rushing attack. The Spartans, who finished with 150 yards on the ground, moved the ball deep into Lynden territory three times in the first half but only got into the end zone once.

Lynden recovered a fumble on its own 18, and the second-quarter time ran out on Sumner's offense driving inside the Lynden 20. Sumner's only first-half score came on a 6-yard TD pass from quarterback Chase Torgison to Tristan Wedington.

The Lions built a 47-7 lead heading into halftime, and the running clock was instituted as soon as the second half started.

Torgison finished 15 of 21 for 166 yards. He threw touchdown and two interceptions. Sumner running backs Brandon Tuilaepa and DeJon Lynch each scored a late TD.

Reach Andrew Lang at andrew.lang@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.

Sumner 0 7 0 14- 21

Lynden 28 19 7 0- 54

First quarter

LYN - Jalani Phelps 8 pass from Sterling Somers (Alex Otano-Guenther kick)

LYN - Scooter Hastings 28 pass from Somers (Otano-Guenther kick)

LYN - Trent Postma 2 run (Otano-Guenther kick)

LYN - Jordan Wittenberg 8 pass from Somers (Otano-Guenther kick)

Second quarter

LYN - Hastings 43 pass from Somers (Otano-Guenther kick)

LYN - Phelps 13 pass from Somers (kick fail)

SUM - Triston Wedington 6 pass from Chase Torgison (Michael Smith)

LYN - Postma 7 run (kick fail)

Third quarter

LYN - Jaremy Martin 1 run (Otano-Guenther kick)

Fourth quarter

SUM - Brandon Tuilaepa 1 run (Smith kick)

SUM - DeJon Lynch 34 run (Smith kick)

Lyn Sum

First downs 22 14

Rushing Att-Yards 31-146 30-150

Comp-Att-Int 13-20-0 15-21-2

Passing yards 276 166

Penalties-yards 5-30 6-57

Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-2

Individual leaders

RUSHING - Sumner: Brandon Tuilaepa 11-57, DeJon Lynch 11-69, Chase Torgison 7-20, Austin Gregg 1-4. Lynden: Trent Postma 10-95, Sterling Somers 8-24, Jaremy Martin 5-16, Colby Spady 3-2, Cameron Wainwright 1-3, Ben Colwell 2-0, Jacob Hommes 1-2, Nathan Gomes 1-4.

PASSING - Sumner: Chase Torgison 15-21-2-166. Lynden: Sterling Somers 13-19-0-276, Cameron Wainwright 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING - Sumner: Triston Wedlington 6-58, Josiah Fidecaro 4-43, Austin Gregg 3-45, Montana Galias 1-13, Drew Rommel 1-7. Lynden: Scooter Hastings 5-124, Jordan Wittenberg 5-123, Jalani Phelps 3-29.

Reach ANDREW LANG at andrew.lang@bellinghamherald.com or call ext. 862.

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