Lynden’s defensive struggles were well documented last week during the Lions’ loss to Ferndale. Lynden yielded 292 rushing yards, hardly a typical Lions’ defensive performance.
The Lions placed a premium this week against Sedro-Woolley, another strong rushing team, on limiting the big play. The Cubs had a few, scoring on touchdown runs of 65 and 38 yards in the first half.
But Lynden’s defense, which has suffered myriad injuries this fall and was without standout linebacker Trent Postma, made key stops during the Lions’ 33-30 win Friday, Oct. 25, at Sedro-Woolley.
Leading 23-15 heading into the third quarter, Lynden forced a Sedro-Woolley three-and-out. The Lions scored on the next possession to pad their lead to 30-15.
The Cubs drove down to the Lions 39 on Sedro-Woolley’s next possession, but on a fourth-and-1 Lynden’s defense, led by Jensen Mayberry, stuffed Cubs back Quinn Carpenter.
The fourth-down stand allowed Lynden to burn a ton of clock before Sedro-Woolley saw the ball again.
“That was really big,” Kramme said of the stop. “We had difficulty getting our checks, certain things we see that we expect our linebackers (to recognize). They hadn’t done that particular set the entire game, and our guys got into the right check. ... Our guys were able to recognize it, get the right thing called and Jensen made a really good tackle.”
Mariners dominate trenches against Ferndale
Sehome manhandled and utterly controlled the line of scrimmage against Ferndale, something very few people would have thought possible coming into the matchup.
Ferndale was fresh off a 292-yard, five-touchdown rushing performance against Lynden, and the Mariners had just been pummeled by Squalicum to the tune of 178 yards on 25 carries, three of which went for touchdowns.
Come Friday night under the lights at Civic Stadium, the Mariners controlled possession and recorded 168 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, holding Ferndale to a very inflated 226 yards on 39 carries, defeating the Golden Eagles 42-21.
“The offensive line played great, and it all starts with them,” said Sehome quarterback Aaron Nichols, who finished with all three rushing touchdowns. “I couldn’t have done it without my offensive line or the rest of my team around me.”
Daton Nestlebush led the way for Sehome with 96 yards on 13 carries, but it was the 66 yards and 22 carries by Josh Slesk that kept the chains moving against Ferndale’s stout line.
And while Ferndale’s total of 226 looks good, much of that came on two carries by Ben Broselle that went for 49- and 66-yard scores. Holding stud tailback Marcus Nightingale to 21 yards on nine carries was the true victory.
“Ferndale gets a lot of yards and a lot of points, so the boys stepped up and played hard,” Sehome coach Bob Norvell said.
Tikhonov stars for Baker’s defense
Hot streak, hot hand, he’s on fire. Those are all phrases typically reserved for offensive players. But there’s no better way to describe the roll Mount Baker’s defensive back Ruvim Tikhonov is on this season.
The senior corner intercepted another pass in Baker’s 10-9 loss to Meridian Friday, Oct. 18, and it almost ended up being the difference maker for the Mountaineers.
“He’s having a really good senior year and that’s what you want,” Mount Baker coach Ron Lepper said. “He gets on the field a lot and he’s playing well. He’s a guy we count on every play.”
With Meridian entering scoring position, the Trojans quarterback Tanner Tutterrow saw an open Kyle Young down the sideline.
Well, not as open as he thought. Tikhonov, at the last second, took three steps lifted off his back foot and ripped the ball out of the outstretched hands of the Trojan player.
It was just two plays after Baker turned the ball over and although Baker went three-and-out on the next possession, it took away from a Trojans team seemingly thriving off their own interception.
Westbrook has big night against former team
Aside from playoff implications, the biggest storyline coming into the Squalicum-Blaine football game on Friday, Oct. 24, had to be Josiah Westbrook’s return to face his former team.
Westbrook took it in stride, hauling in six passes for 41 yards and three touchdowns.
Emotions boiled over a few times between Blaine and Squalicum, and a couple of times Westbrook was in the middle of it with Borderites in his face even in instances when he appeared to be separating his teammates from his former teammates.
“I was just protecting myself, making sure nothing wrong happened,” Westbrook said of the scuffles. “I was trying to think about my team, not myself. It was emotional (coming back). I was trying not to think about it, but I wanted it in the back of my mind so I had some fire.”
When tensions erupted into shoving and yelling in the second half, Blaine coach Jay Dodd called timeout to calm his team down and deliver some harsh words about its actions. Squalicum coach Nick Lucey followed suit and the two teams were cordial the remainder of the game.
Dodd and the other Blaine coaches congratulated Westbrook on his big game after the handshake lines had dispersed.
Westbrook’s three touchdown catches were three of quarterback Christian Jorgensen’s four passing TDs. Jorgensen made almost-flawless passes time and again, fitting the ball in small holes to find his receivers.
He spread the ball to five different receivers for 205 yards.
“Christian had some great throws on great angles,” Westbrook said. “He fit the ball in some really tight spots.”
Myhre does it all for Pioneers
Throughout the competitive game between Nooksack Valley and Lynden Christian on Friday, Oct. 24, there were many factors that contributed to the outcome of the game, which was a 27-24 come-from-behind victory for Nooksack Valley, its first league win of the season.
But no factor was as big as Pioneer quarterback Tanner Myhre.
Whenever Nooksack Valley lined up for a play, everyone knew that Myhre would be involved, whether it was with his arm or with his feet. The versatility Myhre showed Friday proved to be too much to handle for the Lynden Christian defense. With the push of the Pioneer offensive line, Myhre was able to run the ball for 163 yards and two touchdowns on countless designed quarterback keepers through the offense.
The physicality that had been lacking for the Nooksack Valley team showed up in Friday night’s game and it resulted in the first league win of the season. After ending the first half with a 21-7 deficit, the Pioneers came back out and didn’t let the game get away, which has been the case in the past.
Instead, the team rallied behind Myhre to lead the Pioneers to victory. By keeping the ball on the ground, Nooksack Valley was able to run the clock down while keeping the Lyncs offense off the field. In crunch time, the Pioneers were able to find the end zone and get a crucial road victory.
Lynden Christian seemed to have no answer for Myhre’s passing game as well. Myhre ended the game with 197 passing yards and a touchdown. Even though Myhre threw two interceptions, the Pioneer defense was able to prevent any damage off the turnovers.
With Nooksack Valley’s final game of the season next week at Nooksack Valley High School, expect Myhre to be a big part of the Pioneer game plan, as the team will need a strong performance from him to end the season on a high note.