High School Football

After a 6-hour bus ride, what must Lynden do to reach the 2A state semifinals?

Black Hills’ Lucas Johnson attempts to wrap up Lynden’s Jacob Hommes during the Class 2A first round state playoff game Saturday at Civic Stadium in Bellingham. Lynden faces Spokane West Valley in the 2A state quarterfinals Saturday at Gonzaga Prep.
Black Hills’ Lucas Johnson attempts to wrap up Lynden’s Jacob Hommes during the Class 2A first round state playoff game Saturday at Civic Stadium in Bellingham. Lynden faces Spokane West Valley in the 2A state quarterfinals Saturday at Gonzaga Prep. For The Bellingham Herald

Lynden at Spokane West Valley

The Lynden football team must endure a bus ride across the state to face Spokane West Valley in the Class 2A state quarterfinals Saturday at Gonzaga Prep. It is the first time the two schools have met since the 2006 2A state title game, which Lynden won.

Time: 3 p.m.

Site: Gonzaga Prep, Spokane

1119 FOOT Lynden (3)

Lynden at Spokane West Valley

Time: 3 p.m.

Site: Gonzaga Prep, Spokane

Scouting the Lions

Coach: Curt Kramme (26th season, 247-60)

District: Northwest (No. 2 seed)

Previous state appearances: 26 (last in 2014)

State record: 58-18

State titles: Eight (1980, ’91, 2006, ’08, ’09, ’11, ’12, ’13)

Lions update: No. 4 Lynden grabbed a 31-21 first round win over Black Hills last Saturday and will try to advance to the state semifinals for the ninth time in 11 years. Quarterback Jacob Hommes led the way, rushing for 166 yards and several crucial first downs on 31 carries. He also threw for 99 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown to Rylan Severson, but was intercepted twice. Hommes has passed for 1,526 yards and 19 TDs and rushed for 1,323 yards and 17 scores, while Severson leads the Lions with 717 yards and nine TD catches this year. Despite giving up a couple of long running plays in the first quarter, the Lynden defense made adjustments and had a good game, limiting the Wolves to 222 yards of total offense.

Player to watch: Brody Weinheimer is a player who’s not afraid of contact. He ran for 102 bruising yards and three short touchdowns on 22 carries last week, giving him 844 yards and 12 TDs this season. He’s also brings a physical presence to the middle of Lynden’s defense, something that will be needed the rest of the season.

Key to the game: Lynden’s defense answered a stiff challenge from Black Hills last week, especially after the Wolves jumped out to a 14-7 lead in the first quarter. The Lions will be tested again this week by an Eagles offense that has a number of different threats, but if they can find a way to contain West Valley, Lynden is plenty capable of returning from the six-hour bus ride with a win.

Scouting the Eagles

Coach: Craig Whitney (13th season, 75-61)

District: Northeast (No. 2 seed)

Previous state appearances: 11 (last in 2013)

State record: 10-10

State titles: One (1981)

Eagles update: West Valley survived a first-round shootout with No. 6 Franklin Pierce to grab a 44-41 first-round win last Saturday. It was the first state win for the Eagles since the 2A state semifinals in 2009 – one week before they suffered a 16-6 loss to Lynden in the state championship game. Quarterback Hunter Wright dove into the end zone from a yard out for the game-winning score with 3:06 left to play, and the Eagles made it stand with an interception by Drake Ferguson. Defensive end Braxton Swenson also had an interception and almost returned it for a TD. Wright finished with 346 yards passing and four TDs, and ran for 93 yards and two TDs.

Player to watch: Receiver Collin Sather caught a 35-yard TD pass and a 73-yard scoring toss from Wright to help the Eagles jump out to a 21-7 lead last week. He finished with 157 yards on five receptions and is a top target for Wright and somebody Lynden must find a way to contain.

Key to the game: Franklin Pierce quarterback Willie Patterson threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 126 yards and two scores last week against West Valley. The Eagles once again face a player that is a threat both running and throwing the ball in Hommes. If they can’t contain him, Lynden could have a big day.

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