Welcome back, Lynden.
After missing the Class 2A state football playoffs for the first time since 2005 last year, the Lions earned a trip with a 40-7 victory over Granite Falls in the 2A bi-district playoffs Saturday at Civic Stadium.
“It’s one of our goals every year,” Lynden coach Curt Kramme said. “Last year we missed out. We had the worst draw in the state with a game where you have two semifinal-caliber teams in the district round. I don’t want to say it was unfair, but it was kind of. But let’s not talk about last year; let’s talk about this year. These kids have really come together as a team. I think is our chemistry is outstanding and our leadership is outstanding. Our work ethic is outstanding.”
The fourth-ranked Lions (9-1), who receive the No. 2 seed out of the bi-district, will host the Southwest District No. 3 seed – likely Chehalis W.F. West – in the first round. It likely will be held at 4 p.m. next Saturday at Civic Stadium.
Lynden used a classic recipe, strong defense and an effective ground game, to return to the playoffs.
The Lions rushed for 367 yards, led by quarterback Jacob Hommes’ 164 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. He also threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns to Blake Silves.
Brody Weinheimer had 89 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Lynden’s defense, meanwhile, held Granite Falls to 33 rushing yards, forcing the Tigers almost exclusively to the air.
“I think we took their running game away from them early, and they realized the only way they were going to have any success was throwing,” Kramme said. “They did some nice things. They’re coaching staff and their players are well coached. I thought their short passing game did some good things.”
Granite Falls seemed to have no answer for the speed of Hommes, especially when he ran around the left end of Lynden’s line in the first half. The senior repeatedly picked up big chunks of yardage. He also found success on delays into the middle of the line and piled up 133 yards on 17 first-half carries and scored on a 2-yard run 1:05 before halftime.
“They were shading one way, shifting their nose guard one way,” Kramme said. “We ran that way. Davis Bode at tight end did a great job. Jake Kettels on the left side and Tanner Steele, those are three pretty studly dudes. Then you put Ed Andrews in there at center. Then our right side is no slouch either. We’ve got Brennan Roebuck and Trey Labounty, along with Jack Petersen playing tight end over there when we go that way. Those guys just dominated the line of scrimage tonight. We were getting 10 yards a crack when we were running the ball.”
Weinheimer provided some thunder to Hommes’ lighting, bullying his way to 51 yards on 10 carries in the first half. He also found running room around the left, scoring on a 13-yard run on the final play of the first quarter before adding a 1-yard TD run midway through the second.
Silves opened the scoring when he made a great move to get open in the right corner of the end zone and Hommes hit him from 16 yards out.
Two big runs by Hommes and Weinheimer on the Lions’ first possession of the second half carried Lynden 64 yards to the Granite Falls 22, where Hommes again found Silves for a TD pass.
“All in all, it was a good night to be a Lynden Lion,” Kramme said.
Lyn – Blake Silves 16 pass from Jacob Hommes (Nick Parris kick)
Lyn – Brody Weinheimer 13 run (Parris kick)
Lyn – Weinheimer 1 run (Parris kick)
Lyn – Hommes 2 run (run failed)
Lyn – Silves 22 pass from Hommes (Parris kick)
Lyn – Trevin Melendez 25 run (run failed)
GF – Seth Harris 65 INT return (Quinton Sanders kick)
RUSHING — Granite Falls: Leo Powell 1-(-2), Camden Landrum 9-15, Erik Helm 3-12, Rudy Engstrom 1-5, Bryden Counsellor 1-3. Lynden: Brody Weinheimer 12-89, Jacob Hommes 18-164, James Marsh 4-57, Trevin Melendez 7-56, Eric Martin-Mann 2-2, Brock Heppner 2-(-1).
PASSING — Granite Falls: Camden Landurm 16-45-2-175, Quinton Sanders 0-1-0-0. Lynden: Jacob Hommes 9-14-0-173, Eric Martin-Mann 0-2-1-0.
RECEIVING — Granite Falls: Jordon Heppner 4-49, Kory Glover 2-30, Rudy Engstrom 2-10, Brayden Counsellor 1-(-5), Legen Suddarth 7-91. Lynden: Rylan Severson 3-44, Blake Silves 2-38, Aaron Weidenaar 2-45, Landon DeBruin 1-25, Brody Weinheimer 1-21.