The Red Raiders’ return from unattached play got off to a successful start as Bellingham earned a non-league victory over Lynden Christian 21-6 at Civic Field on Friday, Sept. 2.
Bellingham’s first points came just before the end of the first quarter on a play that worked all night for them as junior quarterback Nick Knutson zipped the ball to the outside on a screen to Connor Wallace for a 10-yard score. Wallace led Bellingham in catches (five) and receiving yards (64).
Knutson distributed the ball to six different receivers for 13 completions on 174 yards. Senior Dakota Johanson led the way on the ground with 17 rushes for 54 yards including a touchdown with 3:23 left in the second quarter.
Bellingham could have scored far more than it did, however, as it seemed like each time the Red Raiders offense was on the verge of scoring, it would cough the ball up. Bellingham had four lost fumbles and two interceptions, and coach Ted Flint said his team will have to clean things up.
“It was frustrating the game ended with a few turnovers, but overall a win is a win,” Flint said. “Obviously we’ve got to work on that. Squeezing the ball and holding onto it is our biggest concern.”
Luckily for Bellingham’s offense, the defense of the Red Raiders was outstanding, as it held the Lyncs scoreless until 2:31 left in the fourth quarter. Lynden Christian only amassed 101 yards of offense on the night.
With 10 seconds left in the third quarter, Bellingham’s Jade Dudomward scooped up a loose ball and returned it 27 yards to push the score to 21-0 and seal the game.
“Our defense played awesome,” Flint said. “It should have been a shutout.”
Knutson said his team worked hard during summer and stuck to the process. For the past two years, he’s been itching to play in the Northwest Conference.
“It’s awesome to be back in the conference,” Knutson said. “I was really looking forward to getting this first win and make a big statement. It’s a crucial win for us.”
Bel – Connor Wallace 10 pass from Nick Knutson (Joseph Worley kick)
Bel – Dakota Johanson 1 run (Worley kick)
Bel – Jade Dudoward 27 fumble recovery (Worley kick)
LC – Jordan Riddle 1 run (kick failed)
RUSHING – Lynden Christian: David Bladies 9-26, Colby Flint 5-(-1), Riddle 9-33, Tyson Cline 2-(-1), Ty Van Dyken 4-12. Bellingham: Johanson 17-54, Knutson 7-6, Ethan Fields 4-20, Wallace 11-39, Worley 1-7, Rand Bentley 1-12, Eli Kongshaug 1-2.
PASSING – Lynden Christian: Colby Flint 2-5-1-2, Van Dyken 5-18-1-30. Bellingham: Knutson 13-21-2-185.
RECEIVING – Lynden Christian: Michael Lancaster 2-12, Cline 4-20, Hunter Te Velde 1-0. Bellingham: Nich Smith 2-26, Worley 3-52 , Fields 1-7, Wallace 5-64, Spencer Lee 1-30, Levi DeYoung 1-6.