The Lynden High School Lions have a saying: “Setback, comeback.”
He’ll admit it’s stolen from fellow Class 2A school Prosser, but it’s something coach Curt Kramme emphasizes to his players.
It applied to Jacob Hommes, the Lions’ star quarterback, in Lynden’s 34-21 2A state quarterfinal victory over Spokane West Valley at Gonzaga Prep on Saturday.
After struggling in the Lions’ 31-21 win over Black Hills in the first round last week, when he completed less than 50 percent of his passes and threw two interceptions, Hommes bounced back with a 16-for-19 performance for 161 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers.
“Jacob was awesome today,” Kramme said of his quarterback, who accounted for each of the Lions’ five touchdowns. “He had a bad day throwing the ball last week … and he had a great setback, comeback this week.”
While Hommes’ arm was steady, his three rushing touchdowns helped the Lions open a big lead. The senior scored on a 2-yard run with 8:03 remaining in the second quarter to give Lynden a 14-7 lead, its first of the game.
Hommes followed with touchdown runs of 15 and 12 yards in the third quarter. By then, the Lions (11-1) were in full control.
His dual-threat ability makes the Lions a force to be reckoned with, according to Kramme.
“It really creates a lot of problems for the other team’s defense,” he said of Hommes, who finished with 72 yards on 15 carries. “I can speak from experience, when we have a dual-threat quarterback we are trying to get ready for, that’s really difficult.
“I can only imagine what it’s like to prepare for him.”
West Valley scored on its opening drive, as Hunter Wright connected with Ryan Liefer for a 35-yard touchdown 1:47 into the game.
Hommes responded with a long touchdown pass of his own, finding Landon DeBruin for a 31-yard score.
Rylan Severson, who finished with nine catches for 67 yards, caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Hommes with 46.2 seconds to play in the third quarter.
The Lions will face No. 1 Archbishop Murphy in the semifinals. The Wildcats routed second-ranked Tumwater 48-10 on Saturday.
Fourth-ranked Lynden almost certainly will be deemed the underdog against the Wildcats, who won five games by forfeit because of player safety concerns.
It’s just another thing to put on the Lions’ proverbial bulletin board, according to Severson.
“It puts a chip on our shoulder because we’ve been the underdog all year,” he said. “No one thought we were going to be good. We worked hard, and I think we surprised everyone this year.”
The Lions will look to pull off their biggest upset of the season.
“We’re going to give it our best shot. You just never know what’s going to happen,” Kramme said. “It’s not an exact science game. The ball bounces funny sometimes.”
WV – Ryan Leifer 35 pass from Hunter Wright (Chase Howat kick)
Lyn – Landon DeBruin 31 pass from Jacob Hommes (Isaiah Baseden kick)
Lyn – Hommes 2 run (Baseden kick)
Lyn – Hommes 15 run (Kick failed)
Lyn – Hommes 12 run (Baseden kick)
Lyn – Rylan Severson 16 pass from Hommes (Baseden kick)
WV – Hunter Tiffany 28 pass from Wright (Howat kick)
WV – Leifer 4 pass from Wright (Howat kick)
RUSHING – Lynden: Weinheimer 16-68, Severson 1-1, Hommes 15-72, Bode 1-1. West Valley: Jones 2-7, Wright 16-33, Cantrell 2-6, Magnum 1-2.
PASSING – Lynden: Hommes 16-19-0-161. West Valley: Wright 23-39-1-280.
RECEIVING – Lynden: Silves 3-23, DeBruin 2-52, Severson 9-67, Weidenaar 1-10, Weinheimer 1-9. West Valley: Sather 6-60, Leifer 5-88, Bale 4-33, Levno 4-39, Whitney 3-32, Tiffany 1-28.