Receiving duo give Lynden size advantage

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 30, 2013 

Lynden High School wide receiver Jalani Phelps (1) reaches out to make a catch with coverage from Ellensburg's Ben E. Lee (3) as the Lions face the Bulldogs in the 2A semi-finals at Moses Lake, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. (Brian Myrick / Daily Record)

BRIAN MYRICK — Brian Myrick

MOSES LAKE - Lynden's Scooter Hastings and Jalani Phelps man-handled Ellensburg's cornerbacks with little disregard for their championship aspirations.

Phelps, who stands 6-foot-3 with rangy arms, and Hastings, even taller at 6-foot-7, combined for six receptions, 119 yards and a touchdown during Lynden's 21-7 win over Ellensburg in the Class 2A State Football semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 30, at Lions Field in Moses Lake.

The Lions coach, Curt Kramme, looks at his two senior pass catchers and displays empathy for the opposing teams secondary.

"I feel sorry for the other teams' DBs," Kramme said. "They need to hope that our quarterback gets rushed or we don't get a throw off because if they get it anywhere in (their) vicinity, they're a hard, hard cover."

Both put their monstrous size on display throughout the win in particularly key moments. On a fourth-and-18, quarterback Sterling Somers lofted a pass high in the air toward Hastings. The ball was little more than a prayer, and Hastings positioned his back toward the smaller corner, leapt and pulled down the 30-yard reception in the third quarter that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Trent Postma.

"I saw the guy blitzing, so I just pulled up in the pocket and (wanted) to give him a chance," Somers said. "That's all they ask: Give him a chance."

It was Phelps' turn just two possessions later when on a first-and-10 on the Bulldogs' 29, Somers stepped up in a clean pocket and released a jump ball to the right corner of the end zone. Phelps had little troubling corralling the ball over a Bulldog cornerback who didn't even make an attempt on the ball.

"Sterling gave me a catchable ball, and I just went up and got it," Phelps said.

The cornerback turned and trotted back to the sideline with his hands raised. He seemed to understand that there was nothing he could do to keep Phelps from catching that ball.

"We just tell our quarterbacks, 'Hey, just give them a chance. Put the ball somewhere where they have a chance to use their athleticism,' and Sterling did that in the second half," Kramme said.

Somers, despite only being a sophomore with only a handful of games under his belt, finished the game 11-for-24 passing for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

Reach Alex Bigelow at alex.bigelow@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-715-2238. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for other Whatcom County sports updates.

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