Lynden scored nearly every way imaginable against a Hockinson team heralded for protecting its end zone.
The Lions scored quickly, took their time, added a defensive touchdown, scored on special teams and even crafted a successful Hail Mary.
Lynden’s scoring blitz amounted to a fourth consecutive Class 2A semifinal berth, as the No. 3-ranked Lions easily beat No. 4 Hockinson 52-28 during a sunny afternoon 2A State Playoff quarterfinal matchup Saturday, Nov. 22, at Civic Stadium.
The Lions next will travel east to play either Prosser or Ellensburg for the right to play for a fourth consecutive state championship.
“The way this offense works, it’ll be ugly sometimes,” Lynden coach Curt Kramme said. “Occasionally we’ll get in rhythm. The bottom line is to get the ball across the goal line, and there are a lot of ways to make that happen.”
Except scoring against the Hawks wasn’t supposed to be so easy.
Hockinson (11-1) entered the game giving up an average of 4.8 points and had logged five shutouts. Lynden (11-1) scored one less point Saturday than the Hawks had allowed (53) all year.
Quarterback Sterling Somers completed 12 of 17 passes, all in the first half, for 219 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Jordan Wittenberg surpassed 1,300 yards for the season, hauling in a team-high six passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns.
“It feels great,” said Wittenberg of heading back to the state semis, “good team effort tonight. We all played our hearts out and came out right off the bat with a lot of intensity and got the job done.”
Running back Trent Postma made the most of his opportunities, rushing for 53 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. The senior also ran back the second-half opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown.
Scooter Hastings was the third Lion to post multiple scores. He finished with 52 yards receiving, caught a first-half 13-yard TD and returned an interception 25 yards for third-quarter score.
Kramme respectfully downplayed Hockinson’s stalwart defense, pointing to the Northwest Conference’s strength and conversely the weaker opponents featured on the Hawks’ schedule.
And for the second straight week, Lynden’s offense struck quick.
Somers connected with Wittenberg for a 33-yard touchdown on the Lions’ first offensive play, following a Postma interception.
Hockinson, which was forced to deviate early from its run-heavy offense, responded nicely, though. Quarterback Mitch Lines, who threw three interceptions, engineered an eight-play, 69-yard touchdown drive that was capped with a 13-yard TD pass to Kedrick Johnson, who led the Hawks with 67 yards on five receptions.
Somers then led Lynden on a long drive of its own, taking the Lions 80 yards in 11 plays. Postma finished the drive with the first of his two 9-yard rushing TDs.
Just 2:14 later, Somers threw a token fade route to Hastings in the back-left corner of the end zone to give the Lions a 21-7 lead with 11:06 left in the second quarter.
Lynden’s defense, which for the most part shut down Hockinson’s run game, forced back -to-back punts, and the Lions put the game away scoring twice in the final 2:48 of the first half.
Postma capped a nine-play, 82-yard drive with a 9-yard TD run, and a Hail Mary play Kramme said the Lions conclude every Thursday practice with paid off.
Somers dropped back to pass from his 33 and heaved a ball high into the air. As a group of receivers and defenders convened 5 yards deep in the end zone, Wittenberg found a spot right behind them, letting the ball fall comfortably into his arms.
“First time it’s worked all year,” Somers said. “Just giving them a chance, got a lot of athletes to throw to.”
The score gave Lynden a 35-7 halftime lead, and Postma’s kickoff return for touchdown combined with an early third quarter Hastings pick-six extended the Lions’ lead to 49-7, prompting the running clock.
“It feels great to be honest,” Somers said of the win. “We knew these guys would come out and play hard, hit hard, and we came out and just executed amazingly. Props to our line. I barely got touched all day, really.”
Lyn — Jordan Wittenberg 33 pass from Sterling Somers (Per Wolisberg kick)
Hock — Kedrick Johnson 13 pass from Mitch Lines (Quentin Bodenhamer kick)
Lyn — Scooter Hastings 13 pass from Somers (Wolfisberg kick)
Lyn — Postma 9 run (Wolfisberg kick)
Lyn — Wittenberg 33 pass from Somers (Wolfisberg kick)
Lyn — Postma 92 kickoff return (Wolfisberg kick)
Lyn — Hastings 25 interception return (Wolfisberg kick)
Hock — Cameron Loos 64 pass from Lines (Bodenhamer kick)
Hock — Johnson 14 pass from Lines (Bodenhamer kick)
Lyn — Ezra Arneson 25 field goal
Hock — Austen Johnson 56 pass from Gage Seekins (Bodenhamer kick)
LynFirst downs1120Rushing Att-yards22-8627-126Comp-Att-Int8-22-314-26-2Passing yards191251Penalties-yards7-494-45Fumbles-lost1-01-1
RUSHING — Hockinson: Austen Johnson 8-46, Tommy Harshaw7-33, Joe Davis 4-15, Mitch Lines 2-(-7), Steven Carlisle 1-(-1). Lynden: Trent Postma 9-53, Sterling Somers 6-49, Dalton Ohligschlager 4-17, Clark Hazlett 3-8, Travis VanZanten 2-2, Jacob Hommes 2-3, Jordan Wittenberg 1-(-6).
PASSING — PASSING — Hockinson: Mitch Lines 6-20-3-112, Austen Johnson 1-1-0-22, Gage Seekins 1-1-0-56. Lynden: Sterling Somers 12-17-1-219, Clark Hazlett 2-8-1-32, Jacob Hommes 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Hockinson: Kedrick Johnson 5-67, Austen Johnson 2-59, Cameron Loos 1-64. Lynden: Jordan Wittenberg 6-140, Scooter Hastings 3-52, Ben Colwell 2-41, Jonathan Whetnall 2-7, Ben Haase 1-11.