Black Hills at Lynden
The Lynden football team returns to the Class 2A state playoffs after a one-year absence and hosts Black Hills in the first round Saturday at Civic Stadium. The two teams previously met in 2009 – a game the Lions won 14-7.
Time: 1 p.m.
Site: Civic Stadium
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Scouting the Wolves
Coach: Dominic Yarrington (fourth season, 14th overall, 73-63)
District: Southwest (No. 3 seed)
Previous state appearances: Six (Last in 2015)
State record: 0-6
State titles: None
Wolves update: Black Hills is still seeking its first state playoff win. One of the Wolves’ state losses came at the hands of Lynden 14-7 in a 2009 first-round game. The Wolves beat Hockinson 35-12 in the district playoffs to advance. Black Hills intercepted the Hawks four times in the game, and Ethan Loveless returned one for a touchdown. The Wolves’ defensive line also was dominant, as Austin Daisa had four sacks and James Tobin had two. Quarterback Christian Williams had a second-quarter touchdown run and threw for 55 yards in the game.
Player to watch: Running back Kyler Nygren had a huge game against Hockinson, rushing for 299 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 27 carries. At 5-foot-7, 155 pounds, Nygren isn’t the biggest back, but he’s not short on toughness. He stepped into the staring role after Mark Melendez went down with a torn ACL, and now Lynden must find a way to keep him from having another big game.
Key to the game: Black Hills’ defense was simply spectacular last week against Hockinson. If it can get that many big plays again, Lynden is going to have its hands full.
Scouting the Lions
Coach: Curt Kramme (26th season, 246-60)
District: Northwest (No. 2 seed)
Previous state appearances: 26 (last in 2014)
State record: 57-18
State titles: Eight (1980, ’91, 2006, ’08, ’09, ’11, ’12, ’13)
Lions update: After a one-year absence, Lynden is back in the state playoffs for the 10th time in 11 years, following a 40-7 bi-district victory over Granite Falls Saturday. The Lynden defense took away the Tigers’ ground game, limiting them to 33 yards on 15 attempts. With one aspect of their offense gone, Granite Falls put the ball in the air 46 times, but only gained 175 yards. In fact, the Lions would have had a shutout if not for a pick-six in the fourth quarter. Lynden’s offense was effective as always, with Hommes rushing for 164 yards and a touchdown and throwing for 173 yards and two scores. He’s now rushed for 1,157 yards and thrown for 1,427. Brody Weinheimer provides some powerful balance with 742 yards and nine TDs this season.
Player to watch: Receiver Blake Silves has emerged late this year, and his two catches last week each went for touchdowns. The sophomore showed route-running ability to get open on the plays.
Key to the game: Lynden has allowed just 31 points total in its last four games, and the defense should be credited with a shutout last week, after it didn’t allow a point. The Lions will be tested this week by the Wolves and Nygren, but if they can contain them, look for Lynden to move forward.