Right around halftime one of Lynden’s assistant coaches expressed to head coach Curt Kramme the importance of getting bell-cow back Trent Postma more carries.
Squalicum’s defense neutralized much of the Lions’ pass game through the first two quarters, but with the game very much up for grabs heading into the second half, Lynden began grinding down the Storm with its run game.
Postma’s hard running behind Lynden’s line combined with quarterback Sterling Somers’ deceptive elusiveness made all the difference.
The Lions finished two long, grinding offensive drives with touchdowns to begin the third quarter and pulled away from Squalicum to earn a 49-24 Northwest Conference win Friday, Sept. 19, at Civic Stadium.
The win was the 30th straight for the No. 1-ranked Lions.
“We maybe tried to throw the ball a little too much,” Kramme said. “One of the coaches said, ‘Hey, we need to get Trent the ball,’ and I thought Trent, combined with our offensive line, got a really good push.”
Postma, who was one of many players who exited with injuries, finished with 13 carries for 125 yards and was instrumental to Lynden adding to its 21-10 halftime lead.
Postma left in the third quarter with what appeared to be a shoulder injury, Scooter Hastings left in the first half with a lower leg injury and Trey Shagren also missed most of the game.
“The most unusual aspect was we were playing with a number of backups with the amount of injuries we had,” Kramme said. “That was probably the worst game that I can recall of losing starters.”
When Postma went down, Lynden turned to the legs of Somers, who carried the ball 16 times for 73 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions signal-caller also finished 10 of 17 through the air for 108 yards and TD tosses of 28 yards to Hastings and 22 yards to Jordan Wittenberg.
Backup Lynden quarterback and starting corner Clark Hazlett, who was playing against his former team, ran for an 8-yard and a 5-yard score, ran an onside kick back 50 yards for a touchdown and also recorded an interception.
Squalicum quarterback Christian Jorgensen completed 25 of 42 passes for 332 yards and three TDs. But the Storm senior also threw two picks.
And Jorgensen was largely responsible for the Storm’s ability to hang with the Lions the whole first half.
After Somers found Hastings on a slant route for a 22-yard score, Squalicum marched all the way down the field before settling for a 25-yard Quinn Carpenter field goal.
Squalicum answered again after Hazlett’s 5-yard TD run with 8:38 left in the second quarter gave Lynden a 14-3 lead.
Ben Peterson, who caught a game-high 10 balls for 159 yards, hauled in his first of two touchdowns on a 22-yard corner route that cut Lynden’s lead to 14-10 with 6:53 remaining until halftime.
But Somers navigated Lynden’s offense back down the field and capped off a 13-play drive with a 3-yard score to put the Lions in front 21-10 at the break.
“The game was much closer than the final score may have indicated,” Kramme said. “It was a real battle, and I expected it would be. I tip my hat to the Squalicum coach and his players, much better football team than we’ve seen from them in the last several years. I’m just glad to get out of here with a win.”
Lynden extended its lead to 35-10 in the second half after Somers connected with Wittenberg for a score and plunged in himself from 1-yard out.
Squalicum used a 12-yard TD pass Jorgensen to Peterson to trim Lynden’s lead to 35-18 with 5:13 left in the game, but Hazlett got a good bounce on the ensuing onside kick attempt and ran it back 50 yards to put the game away.
Reach Andrew Lang at email@example.com or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.
Lyn — Scooter Hastings 28 pass from Sterling Somers (Jordan Wittenberg kick)
Sq — Quinn Carpenter 25 field goal
Lyn — Clark Hazlett 5 run (Wittenberg kick)
Sq — Ben Peterson 22 pass from Christian Jorgensen (Carpenter kick)
Lyn — Somers 3 run (Wittenberg kick)
Lyn — Wittenberg 22 pass from Somers (Wittenberg kick)
Lyn — Somers 1 run (Wittenberg kick)
Sq — Peterson 12 pass from Jorgensen (Peterson pass from Jorgensen)
Lyn — Hazlett 50 kickoff return (Wittenberg kick)
Lyn — Hazlett 8 run (Wittenberg kick)
Sq — Coleman Schwab 14 pass from Jorgensen (kick fail)
SqualicumFirst downs2120Rushing Att-yards39-23021-50Comp-Att-Int11-19-025-42-2Passing yards144332Penalties-yards6-605-30Fumbles-lost0-02-0
RUSHING — Lynden: Trent Postma 13-125, Sterling Somers 16-73, Dalton Ohligschlager 5-9, Clark Hazlett 4-18, Ben Colwell 1-5. Squalicum: Nick Manchester 6-59, Jordan Campbell 6-20, Ben Peterson 1-(-2), Christian Jorgensen 8-(-27).
PASSING — Lynden: Sterling Somers 10-17-108-0; Clark Hazlett 1-2-36-0. Squalicum: Christian Jorgensen 25-42-332-2.
RECEIVING — Lynden: Jordan Wittenberg 6-44, Jonathan Whetnall 3-65, Scooter Hastings 1-28, Ternt Postma 1-7. Squalicum: Ben Peterson 10-159, Josiah Westbrook 8-97, Coleman Schwab 4-39, Damek Mitchell 3-37.