High School Football

The numbers don’t lie; this Whatcom County football team will get ‘a second shot’

Lynden receiver Kobe Elsner tries to avoid Anacortes defender Payton Beaner in an Oct. 13 game. The Lions learned Saturday that they will be moving on to the Class 2A Bid-District Playoffs and will play at Sedro-Woolley Friday.
Lynden receiver Kobe Elsner tries to avoid Anacortes defender Payton Beaner in an Oct. 13 game. The Lions learned Saturday that they will be moving on to the Class 2A Bid-District Playoffs and will play at Sedro-Woolley Friday. For The Bellingham Herald

Put down the calculators, it’s official. Despite a lopsided loss to a Class 4A school on Friday night, the Lynden football team is officially moving on to the postseason.

The athletic directors of the Northwest and Sea-King districts released the final RPI rankings for Class 2A football teams early Saturday, and Lynden checked in with a 0.37846, which was sixth-best overall and, more importantly, third best among the group of “South” teams made of the Cascade Conference, Kingco 2A and Wesco 2A and the fourth-place team from the 2A NWC (Lynden).

With Lynden among the top three from the “South” the 2A NWC will send four teams to the Week 10 2A Bi-District Playoffs next week – Sedro-Woolley, Burlington-Edison, Lakewood and Lynden. They will be joined by Archbishop Murphy and Liberty to play three winner-to-state games on Friday.

As the South No. 3, Lynden will face the top seed from the North – Sedro-Woolley – in a 7 p.m. game Friday at Sedro.

The Lions (4-5) entered Week 9 ranked behind Granite Falls in the RPI race, but the Tigers’ 22-21 Cascade Conference loss to Sultan in overtime allowed Lynden to move ahead despite a 42-7 non-league loss at Eastlake. Granite Falls finished with an RPI of 0.35993.

By advancing, the Lions get an opportunity to play for a trip to state for the 11th time in the past 12 years. The one time they didn’t make it to state? It was Sedro-Woolley that knocked them out in the district playoffs with 21-17 loss in 2015. Lynden also will get a chance to avenge a 34-20 loss to the Cubs on Sept. 22.

“The big theme of our season has been missed opportunities and wanting a second shot,” Lynden coach Blake Van Dalen said Friday night. “It looks like we may get that shot.”

Playoff bound

With Lynden advancing to the Class 2A Bi-District Playoffs, Whatcom County will send six teams to the postseason. Lummi receives a bye next week, but here’s a look at what the other five teams are facing in Week 10:

Class 3A District Playoffs

▪ Metro No. 7 (Nathan Hale or Blanchet) at Ferndale, TBD

Class 2A Bi-District Playoffs

▪ Lynden at Sedro-Woolley, 7 p.m. Friday

Class 1A Northwest District Playoffs

▪ Bothell Cedar Park Christian at Meridian, 7 p.m. Friday (at Anacortes)

▪ King’s at Mount Baker, 7 p.m. Friday

▪ Nooksack Valley at Sultan, 7 p.m. Friday

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