High School Football

Lynden and Tumwater know each other well, but something’s different about this meeting

Lynden defensive back Bo Bovenkamp, right causes Anacortes running back Peyton Beaner to fumble as Lynden linebacker Gage Bates moves in for the tackle during an Oct. 13 game. The Lions travel to Tumwater for the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs Friday.
Lynden defensive back Bo Bovenkamp, right causes Anacortes running back Peyton Beaner to fumble as Lynden linebacker Gage Bates moves in for the tackle during an Oct. 13 game. The Lions travel to Tumwater for the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs Friday. for The Bellingham Herald

Class 2A State Football Playoffs first round Lynden at Tumwater

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Site: Tumwater District Stadium

What’s at stake: Winner moves on to the 2A state quarterfinals and will travel to face Othello or Steilacoom Nov. 17 or 18. The loser is eliminated.

Previous state playoff meetings: Lynden won the 2014 2A state championship game 38-28, the 2013 2A state championship 41-7 and a 2006 2A state semifinal meeting 20-10, while Tumwater won a 2010 first-round meeting 21-10.

1109 FOOT Lynden

SCOUTING THE LIONS

Coach: Blake VanDalen (first season)

Seed: Northwest/Sea-King District No. 3

State appearances (last): 27 (2016)

State playoff record: 59-19

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

After finishing fourth in the 2A NWC, but advancing to the postseason based on RPI, Lynden surprised Sedro-Woolley 28-7 in the district playoffs Friday. The seven points allowed, which didn’t come until the game’s final minutes, was a new season low for the Lions defense. James Marsh helped in that endeavor with two interceptions. He also passed for 99 yards and a TD while rushing for 51 yards and three scores. Since becoming the team’s primary QB in Week 5, he’s passed for 805 yards and seven TDs and rushed for 413 yards and nine scores. Eric Martin-Mann is the Lions’ leading rusher with 635 yards and three TDs, while Aaron Weidenaar is the top receiver with 363 yards and four scores.

SCOUTING THE THUNDERBIRDS

Coach: Bill Beattie (first season)

Seed: Southwest District No. 2

State appearances (last): 27 (2016)

State playoff record: 48-22

State titles: Five (1987, ’89, ’90, ’93, 2010)

After winning the Evergreen 2A Conference title, Tumwater ripped Washougal 55-0 in the district playoffs. The Thunderbirds have now allowed a touchdown or less in five straight games and six times this season. Their losses this year came to Class 3A power Bellevue and Class 4A Union. Connor Clark scored three touchdowns in last week’s win, including returning the opening kickoff 94 yards for a TD. Nine Thunderbird running backs combined for rush for 371 yards, and they scored on seven consecutive offensive drives. Tumwater is making its eighth straight state playoff appearance and has only lost in the first round once during that string.

Key to the game: VanDalen and Beattie, who took over for coaching legends Curt Kramme and Sid Otton, respectively, get their first taste of being head coaches in the state playoffs. VanDalen is hoping his defense will help his cause, but as great as it was against the Cubs last week, it will need to be even better this week.

Prediction: Tumwater 45-24.

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