The Nooksack Valley football team knew it could play better defensively than it had in losses to Mount Baker and Meridian the past two weeks.
When it needed to the most, that’s exactly what the Pioneers did. Nooksack Valley posted a second-half shutout to beat visiting Lynden Christian 32-21 on Friday, Oct. 29, in a must-win 1A Northwest Conference game.
“We haven’t played well the last two games,” Pioneers coach Robb Myhre said. “It was nice to pitch a shutout in the second half and play defense like we’re capable of doing. You could see our confidence growing throughout the game, but really in the second half.”
The win, coupled with Meridian’s 49-7 loss to Mount Baker on Friday, left the Pioneers and Trojans tied for the 1A NWC’s second seed in the 1A Northwest District playoffs.
The two teams will play a Kansas tiebreaker – much like an overtime period in high school or college football, in which each team gets an opportunity with the ball at its opponent’s 25 – on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Sedro-Woolley to decide who moves on to face Cascade Conference No. 1 seed King’s next weekend for the right to advance to the state playoffs. The time of the tiebreaker has not been set.
The Pioneers (5-4, 3-3 1A NWC) now know that they can rely on their defense after trailing 21-14 at halftime.
“The first half, both teams pretty much did what they wanted,” Lynden Christian coach Dan Kaemingk said. “But after the half, they put the clamps on us defensively. We had a chance, but we ended up losing a fumble in the last two minutes.”
Myhre said his defense had a good week of practice and assistant coach Britt Lentz added a few tweaks. Myhre said the entire defense stepped up with some “nice tackles” and Kirk Veldman led the way with two big plays.
Offensively, Nooksack also stepped it up in the second half, as running back Colton Kautz had a nice game, Myhre said, and Jeremy Dykes had two key touchdown receptions.
LC – Erik VanderVelden 10 pass from Colby Flint (Derek Kamena kick)
NV - Jeremy Dykes 5 pass from Casey Bauman (Jordan Veening kick)
LC – Jordan Riddle 1 run (Kamena kick)
NV - Dykes 35 pass from Bauman (Veening kick)
LC – Nathan Wynstra 14 pass from Colby Flint (Kamena kick)
NV - Colton Kautz 46 run (kick failed)
NV - Kautz 27 pass from Bauman (pass failed)
NV – Tre Silva 9 run (pass failed)
RUSHING – Lynden Christian: Jordan Riddle 28-153, Colby Flint 8-21. Nooksack Valley: Colton Kautz 20-145, Tre Silva 5-47, Jeremy Dykes 1-9, Casey Bauman 11-2, Luke Winter 1-(-6).
PASSING – Lynden Christian: Colby Flint 12-24-2-100. Nooksack Valley: Casey Bauman 16-33-1-216.
RECEIVING – Lynden Christian: Nathan Wynstra 2-34, Jordan Riddle 4-25, Erik VanderVelden 2-24, Kalai Jandoc 2-14, Tyson Cline 2-3. Nooksack Valley: Jeremy Dykes 5-82, Kyle Veldman 4-67, Colton Kautz 1-27, Michael O’Bryan 3-21, Tre Silva 2-13, Jordan Veening 1-6.