Mount Baker’s bellcow back’s name often echoes through the loud speaker, but many times the strong 5-foot-10 back is never seen, as his yardage typically comes in those “three yards and a pile of dust” type runs.
But Short got plenty of face time in Mount Baker’s 31-20 Northwest Conference 1A win over Lynden Christian on Friday, Oct. 10.
Short ran for 213 yards and three touchdowns, one of which was a 82-yard breakaway on a crucial third down play.
The Mountaineers’ opening possession to start the second half looked like it was going to end with a punt after a sack on second down forced a third-and-13. Short looked like he was stopped for just a short gain before the 200-pound back emerged from the cluster and sprinted into the end zone to make it 21-7.
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“That was exciting,” Short said. “I was actually surprised that I got out there. … I was just waiting for (my offensive line) to make it happen for me. I just took off and I knew nobody was going to catch me.”
He later scored on a 29-yarder in which he also broke several tackles.
The big rushing day for Mount Baker (5-1, 3-0 NWC) came as a surprise after a strong Lynden Christian (4-2, 1-2 NWC) first quarter, when the Lyncs took a 7-0 lead, limiting Mount Baker to zero first downs in the quarter.
“At the beginning, I thought it was going to be one of those games where they read me,” Short said. “On the line, we made some adjustments and kind of pulled through and made it happen.”
But from then on, the Lyncs missing two key defensive players in Sam Mumford and Blake Browning started to show.
Aside from Short, Jed Schleimer, who scored one TD, gained 70 yards — most notably his 40-yard, game-clinching run in the fourth quarter that set up a 41-yard field goal by Zane Smith to make it 31-20 with 2:31 to play — and Zach Yurchuk picked up 47 yards.
For Lynden Christian, the “never let up” attitude was in full swing, as the Lyncs were in the game from start to finish.
“Give those guys a lot of credit,” Baker coach Ron Lepper said. “They’re a good football team and we knew that coming in and it showed on the field. They played hard.”
Jordan Jansen, who was limited to 50 yards on 17 carries, put the Lyncs up 7-0 in the first with a 3-yard run.
Two second-half TD throws from Lucas Roetcisoender — one to Alex Vander Velden, the other to Jake Van Berkum — had the Lyncs trailing 28-20 with 6:10 left.
But it was probably the opportunities the Lyncs didn’t capitalize on that coach Galen Kaemingk will look back on and shake his head.
With 2:02 left in the third trailing 21-14, the Lyncs took over the ball at their 46-yard line. A bad snap sent the Lyncs back 12 yards before Roetcisoender connected with Vander Velden for a 25-yard gain. Two plays later, Roetcisoender threw his second of three interceptions on the night.
“It’s a close, competitive game like that,” Kaemingk said. “On offense, a couple times we looked like world beaters — we’re driving down the field, slow, methodical — and then we get a dropped pass, a missed block, an overthrow. My message was ‘Look, in a close, hard-fought game like that, everything gets magnified.’”
All four 1A teams have now played each other once in conference play. The teams enter the second half of the season on Friday, Oct. 17. Mount Baker faces Nooksack Valley and Lynden Christian will play Meridian.
LC – Jordan Jansen 3 run (Cody Fransen kick)
MB – Liam Short 7 run (Zane Smith kick)
MB – Jed Schleimer 7 run (Smith kick)
MB – Short 82 run (Smith kick)
LC – Alex Vander Velden 6 pass from Lucas Roetcisoender (Fransen kick)
MB – Short 29 run (Smith kick)
LC – Jake Van Berkum 11 pass from Roetcisoender (kick fail)
MB – Smith 41 FG
|Mount Baker||Lynden Christian|
RUSHING — Mount Baker: Jed Schleimer 9-70, Liam Short 25-212, Zach Yurchuk 7-47, Mason Bass 5-(-12), Johnny Mata 1-27, Ruvim Tikhonov 1-4. Lynden Christian: Jordan Jansen 17-50, Blake Mellema 3-30, Lucas Roetcisoender 4-7, Jake Van Berkum 4-25, Zach Roetcisoender 1-29.
PASSING — Mount Baker: Mason Bass 1-1-0-(-4). Lynden Christian: Lucas Roetcisoender 13-28-3-99.
RECEIVING — Mount Baker: Jed Schleimer 1-(-4). Lynden Christian: Alex Vander Velden 6-48, Nathan Rusnak 2-5, Travis Roosma 2-24, Zach Roetcisoender 2-11, Jake Van Berkum 1-11.