Juniors Per Wolfisberg, Noah King and Dalton Ohligschlager are not among Lynden’s better known football players, but they are the toast of the school today.
After a perfect snap by Ohligschlager, an ideal hold by King and a 30-yard field goal by Wolfisberg with four seconds to play, Lynden’s win streak is alive and counting at 33 following a wildly exciting 23-21 win over Burlington-Edison before a packed house at Kirkby Field on Friday, Oct. 10.
“I love the fight in our guys, the spirit they have never to give up,” said Lynden quarterback Sterling Somers as he watched from the sideline after leaving the field after he ultimately set up the winning kick with a 2-yard keeper on fourth-and-1 from the 15-yard line with 46 seconds remaining.
When asked about running back/linebacker Trent Postma — often brilliant on both defense and offense as he helped the Lions shut out the Tigers in the second half — Somers was still catching his breath after the game ended when he said, “I love that guy. What a great heart.”
Somers said he wasn’t thinking about the winning streak because, cliché or no cliché, “We really do play them one at a time.”
Likewise, Wolfisberg said he wasn’t thinking about the streak either after the marathon game ended at 9:40 p.m.
“I was just trying to focus on making the kick,” calmly said the lanky 6-foot-3 junior, seconds after he watched from his side of the field as Burlington-Edison (3-3, 1-3 Northwest Conference 2A/3A) unsuccessfully tried to turn his game-ending kickoff into a rugby scrum.
An instant later, Wolfisberg joined his teammates in a deafening emotional explosion by the defending Class 2A state champion Lions (6-0, 4-0).
The opportunity meant so much to Wolfisberg, whose chance to tie the game at 21-all dissolved because the conversion somehow went awry under Burlington’s pressure following Lynden’s third and last touchdown.
That touchdown was scored by Postma when the fleet senior sprinted left from Burlington’s 24-yard line and got himself totally open for a 24-yard touchdown catch on a bullet pass from Somers with 5:58 remaining.
Immediately before that score, Somers completed passes of 16 and 20 yards to Jonathan Whetnall.
Lynden scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper by Somers in the first quarter and an 18-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Wittenberg, both followed by Wolfisberg conversion kicks.
The Tigers matched the Lions with a 3-yard scoring run by quarterback Mason Schwetz and a 1-yard scoring burst by shifty junior Curtis Carlson, who gained 94 yards on 19 carries.
Burlington then took a 21-14 advantage eight seconds before halftime when Schwetz found junior Tavian Swanson with a 19-yard touchdown pass following a roughing-the-kicker penalty on the Lions when Nathan Osborn missed on a fourth-down, 52-yard field goal attempt.
Postma made three tackles in a four-play span, forcing the Tigers to give up the ball on a punt with 3:28 left.
Postma began the winning drive with an 8-yard run, followed by a 10-yard pass interference penalty on Burlington — one of 16 infractions whistled against the Tigers. Somers then found Postma for 8 yards and Whetnall for 9, shortly before the Tigers were whistled for another 10-yard pass interference penalty.
Somers gamely tried three passes before Wolfisberg’s game-winning kick, but all three barely missed finding a possible game-winning receiver.
Wittenberg caught seven passes for 108 yards, all in the first half, and the Tigers seemingly put everyone on him in the second half, opening the way for Whetnall’s five catches for 87 yards and Postma’s three grabs for 45 yards, including the key fourth-quarter touchdown.
Somers finished 16 for 33 for 256 yards and one first-half interception by Burlington junior Conner Moore.
Postma ran 19 times for 84 yards.
So many Lions played superbly on defense in the second half that it would be exceptionally difficult to single out anyone but the never-quit Postma, who likely was in on more than a dozen tackles.
Lynden — Sterling Somers 1 run (Per Wolfisberg kick)
Burlington — Mason Schwetz 4 run (Nathan Osborn kick)
Burlington — Curtis Carlson 1 run (Osborn kick)
Lynden — Jordan Wittenberg 18 pass from Somers (Osborn kick)
Burlington — Tavian Swanson 19 pass from Schwetz (Osborn kick)
Lynden — Troy Postma 24 pass from Somers (run failed)
Lynden — Wolfisberg 30 FG
B-EFirst downs2012Rushing Att-yards32-9732-136Comp-Att-Int16-33-110-15-0Passing yards256101Penalties-yards8-8016-132Fumbles-lost0-00-0
RUSHING — Lynden: Trent Postma 19-84, Sterling Somers 12-10, Jordan Wittenberg 1-3. Burlington: Curtis Carlson 19-94, Mason Schwetz 8-16, Timmie Rush 1-8, Lorenzo Mationg 4-18.
PASSING — Lynden: Sterling Somers 16-33-256-1. Burlington: Mason Schwetz 10-15-101-0.
RECEIVING — Lynden: Jordan Wittenberg 7-108, Jonathan Whetnall 5-87, Troy Postma 3-45, Noah King 1-16. Burlington: Tavian Swanson 5-56, Curtis Carlson 1-2, Timmie Rush 2-12, Hunter Jacobson 1-17, Derek Cherryholmes 1-14.