The Lynden football team locked up its sixth straight Northwest Conference 2A/3A title with a 28-21 win in a competitive game that came down to the last play against visiting Blaine on Friday, Oct. 30.
Quarterback Sterling Somers passed for 197 yards and three touchdowns to help lead a Lions’ fourth-quarter rally that was capped off by Trent Postma’s go-ahead 6-yard touchdown run with 50 seconds to play.
With the win, the Lions (8-1, 6-1 NWC 2A/3A) enter the Class 2A Northwest District playoffs next week as the top seed and will host Shorecrest for the right to move on to the state playoffs. With the loss, Blaine (4-5, 2-5) saw its slim postseason hopes extinguished.
“We’re just happy to be in the playoffs,” Lynden coach Curt Kramme said. “We’ll get things sorted out tomorrow.”
Lynden struck first midway through the first quarter on a 4-yard pass from Somers to Postma, on a drive that started from its own 38-yard line. Blaine responded on its next drive, which began on its own 25-yard line, in a big way — a 45-yard touchdown pass from Nathan Kramme to Gunnar Arnason with 4:31 left to go in the first quarter.
The second quarter turned out to be just as much of a battle as the first. Neither team scored until there was less than three minutes left in the half. The Borderites drove down the field from their own 36-yard line to the Lions’ 1, but failed to punch it into the end zone on four tries.
“That was a tough one,” Blaine coach Jay Dodd said. “We definitely needed points there.”
Lynden rallied behind the defensive stand by driving 99 yards to score a touchdown on a 1-yard pass from Somers to Jordan Wittenberg.
“Anytime you stop a team at the goal line is an impressive thing,” Curt Kramme said. “We were able to drive it 99 yards and score.”
With 2:53 left to go in the second quarter, Blaine showed resilience by driving for a late score on a touchdown pass from Nathan Kramme to Anthony Ball with 12 seconds left in the half, tying the halftime score at 14.
“We kept fighting,” Dodd said. “Our team fought hard (tonight).
“We were controlling the game in the first half. We knew we could come back out and do the same.”
Blaine continued to stun the Lynden crowd in the third quarter, as the Borderites were able to get a touchdown midway through the period on of a 6-yard run by Riley Fritsch, to take a 21-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Lynden responded strong in the fourth quarter to take control of the game. Starting from their 38-yard line, the Lions got a touchdown on a Somers pass to Scooter Hastings, but a blocked extra-point attempt kept the Borderites in the lead, 21-20.
“We had to score again anyways, so it didn’t matter,” Curt Kramme said.
Scoring again is exactly what the Lions ended up doing. With 50 seconds left in the game, Postma’s 6-yard run gave Lynden the lead, and a two-point-conversion on a pass from Somers to Davis Bode made the advantage 28-21.
“Give the ball to the guy who is determined,” Curt Kramme said. “We are so fortunate to have him on our team, and I’m glad he’s back for us.”
Postma finished with 120 yards and the a receiving and rushing touchdown.
Blaine’s Nathan Kramme finished the game with 135 passing yards and two touchdowns passing, while running back Fritsch finished with 138 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Lynden — Trent Postma 4 pass from Sterling Somers (Per Wolfisberg kick)
Blaine — Gunnar Arnason 45 pass from Nathan Kramme (Kyle Sentkowski kick)
Lynden — Jordan Wittenberg 1 from Sterling Somers (Wolfisberg kick)
Blaine — Anthony Ball 10 pass from Nathan Kramme (Sentkowski kick)
Blaine — Riley Fritsch 6 run (Sentkowski kick)
Lynden — Scooter Hastings 4 pass from Sterling Somers (kick fail)
Lynden — Postma 6 run (Bode pass from Somers)
RUSHING — Blaine: Riley Fritsch 34-138, Nathan Kramme 8-9. Lynden: Trent Postma 19-120, Sterling Somers 11-6.
PASSING — Blaine: Nathan Kramme 8-14-1-135. Lynden: Sterling Sommers 14-20-0-197, Scooter Hastings 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — : Blaine: Anthony Ball 5-63, Gunnar Arnason 2-51, Jonathan Starcer 1-21. Lynden: Jordan Wittenberg 7-143, Scooter Hastings 6-50, Trent Postma 1-4.