LAKEWOOD Jonathan Whetnall wasn’t wearing camouflage.
The senior defensive back was clearly distinguishable in Lynden’s white, yellow and green uniforms — a stark contrast from Lakewood’s maroon, gold and white jerseys.
Yet on three different occasions, the slight cornerback came down with interceptions, two of which ended long, sustained drives by the Cougars, helping lift Lynden (2-0) to a 38-21 non-conference win over Lakewood on Friday, Sept. 12, at Lakewood.
“They just happened to come my way and I made the play,” Whetnall said. “This is my first year of football. I understand people might think I don’t know what I’m doing.”
His contributions weren’t limited to the defensive side of the ball, either.
Whetnall was on the receiving end of a 2-yard touchdown pass by Clark Hazlett in the fourth quarter, lengthening Lynden’s lead at the time to 38-8.
“We knew he was a good athlete, but we didn’t know if he would be able to handle the physical aspect of football,” Lynden coach Curt Kramme said. “I knew he would be a good pass defender. They tested him and he answered the call.”
Lynden, while looking disjointed at times on both sides of the ball, put together a solid day offensively by accumulating 328 yards through the air and another 183 on the ground. Sterling Somers was an efficient 22 of 30 passing for 296 yards and two touchdowns, adding 61 yards and a score on nine carries.
Somers did toss three interceptions — two of which came in the end zone — but Kramme didn’t chalk that up to errant passes by his junior signal caller.
“In my mind, none of them were his fault,” he said. “I remember a quote by Bill Parcells talking with Phil Simms: ‘How many picks are you going to throw today?’ meaning if you’re aggressive with the ball you’re going to throw some picks. Just part of the passing game.”
Somers did orchestrate an eight-play, 64-yard drive early in the first quarter that led to a 21-yard touchdown pass to Trent Postma, who broke several tackles before scoring. The junior QB came up with a big 9-yard run early in the drive to keep it alive.
Hazlett entered at quarterback for the third Lions possession, marching them down to the 6-yard line which eventually led to a 23-yard Per Wolfisberg field goal and a 10-0 lead.
Lynden finally broke it open on a 53-yard connection between Somers and 6-foot-7 wide receiver Scooter Hastings, who finished the game with five receptions for 120 yards. Somers led Hastings down the left hash, and the lengthy wide out came down with the ball and shed a tackle for a 17-0 lead.
“They were taking away the run a little, and if teams take away the run, we try to throw it a little bit,” Kramme said. “We made a lot of big plays, and made the plays on the defensive side when we needed to make stops.”
Whetnall secured his second interception of the game when Lakewood’s Paulmer Gregory lofted a pass toward the right pylon on Lynden’s 27 midway through the second, snuffing out the Cougars’ best drive thus far.
Somers added a 5-yard TD run late in the second to take a commanding 24-0 lead before Paulmer added his own QB keeper with 25 seconds to go.
Paulmer finished 13 of 27 passing for 135 yards, and he, too, was a running threat, accounting for 86 yards on 13 carries.
Postma, who took most of his carries off the left tackle and finished the game with 64 yards on 14 carries, broke free for a 14-yard score in the third, lengthening the lead to a point where the Cougars had to pass on nearly every down to try stay competitive.
Jordan Wittenberg was the go-to target throughout the game, finishing with 13 receptions and 130 yards.
Lakewood added two late scores in the fourth when the game was well out of hand.
Lyn — Trent Postma 21 pass from Sterling Somers (Per Wolfisberg PAT)
Lyn — Wolfisberg 23-yard field goal
Lyn — Scooter Hastings 53 pass from Somers (Wolfisberg PAT)
Lyn — Somers 5 run (Wolfisberg PAT)
Lake — Paulmer Gregory 7 run (2-point conversion converted)
Lyn — Postma 14 run (Wolfisberg PAT)
Lyn — Jonathan Whetnall 2 pass from Clark Hazlett (Wolfisberg PAT)
Lake — Brett Bustard 2 pass from Paulmer (MItchell Denning PAT
Lake — Bobak Hejazi 70-yard block and return (Missed PAT)
LakeFirst downs2817Rushing Att-yards38-18318-91Comp-Att-Int28-39-316-39-3Passing yards328178Penalties-yards6-437-80Fumbles-lost2-02-1
RUSHING — Lynden: Trent Postma 14-64, Sterling Somers 9-61, Jordan Wittenberg 1-8, Clark Hazlett 7-12; Lucas Petersen 1-5, Ben Colwell 3-29, Dalton Ohligschlager 1-4, Marcus Landeros1-0, Jacob Hommes 1-0. Lakewood: Paulmer Gregory 13-86, Blake Watts 1 (-6), Sean Dawson 1-4, Brett Bustard 1-6, Tyler Courtney 2-1.
PASSING — Lynden: Sterling Somers 22-30-3-296, Clark Hazlett 6-9-0-32. Lakewood: Paulmer Gregory 13-27-1-135; Blake Watts 3-12-2-43.
RECEIVING — Lynden: Scooter Hastings 5-120, Lucas Petersen 1-19, Jordan Wittenberg 13-130, Trent Postma 4-33, Jonathan Whetnall 2-8, Trey Shagren 2-9; Drew Krause 1-9. Lakewood: Blake Watts 6-63, Joshua Dickey 2-8, Paulmer Gregory 1-35, Brent Bustard 6-64, David Le 1-8.