Senior lineman Cooper Brown wound up with an unexpected and ironic extra reason to cherish all the Lynden seniors’ first major roles in a football win over rival Ferndale.
Brown, who will join the Marines in June after graduation, and fellow returning senior line standout Jacob Kettels turned in perhaps their best combined performance on both sides of the line in the Class 2A Lions’ 30-6 win over Class 3A Ferndale on Friday.
Several Marines were on hand to present an MVP award for one of more than 100 games nationwide they have dubbed The Great American Rivalry Series.
So who received the MVP trophy from the Marines?
Brown did, in storybook fashion, although the 260-pound Kettels confirmed the 235-pound Brown richly deserved the honor.
“Cooper was amazing,” said Kettels, although the same could be said of Kettels, who plans to play in college and become a coach.
Brown already sounded like a Marine.
“It’s a family thing. My father (Scott Brown) was a Marine,” he said. “I was doing this (playing one of his best games) for my (Lynden) brothers to the left and right of me. We were really clicking well.”
Indeed, Lynden quarterback James Marsh and coach Blake VanDalen used “amazing” and “outstanding” to describe the entire interior offensive line, which also included first-year starters Kaden Mayberry and Houston DeJong, both seniors, and junior Harley Vandenberg.
Marsh agreed that his line protected him as well as they ever have: “My only sack was my fault,” he said.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Marsh scored on a 1-yard run to the right side and threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Brock Heppner, helping the Lions claim a 17-0 halftime bulge. Marko Samoukovic chipped in with a 26-yard field goal.
Lynden junior Steven DiLorenzo, who rushed for 101 yards on 15 carries, broke free for a 26-yard touchdown run three minutes into the second half.
The Lions (2-0) amassed 315 yards with 157 running and 158 passing, including Marsh’s 11 for 20 for 107 yards and no interceptions, with four passes for 55 yards to Grant VanderYacht.
Lynden limited the Golden Eagles (0-2) to 134 total yards, with 43 in the first half. Jacob Broselle scored on a 6-yard run with 2:52 remaining to play, spoiling Lynden’s shutout, and Gader Fox worked hard to lead Ferndale with 78 yards on 14 carries.
Senior reserve Dakota Baar caught a short pass for Lynden with 36 seconds left from sophomore quarterback Baylor Ayres and Baar broke free for a 49-yard touchdown.
“We were just trying to get a senior a catch, not thinking we would score on that play,” VanDalen said. “I’d like to apologize to (Ferndale coach) Jamie Plenkovich and to the Ferndale team.”
Kettels -- saying the Lions “really took it to heart with great focus all week” -- savored the seniors’ first win over Ferndale.
“Ferndale beat us in the last two minutes in both of the last two years,” VanDalen said. “Our line really was outstanding tonight.”
Speaking of the Marines, VanDalen was surprised to get an unexpected video of encouragement from a Marine, Noah King, who was a senior on Lynden’s 2015 team and beat Ferndale.
“Noah is shipping out for duty in the Mideast and I showed his video to the whole team,” VanDalen said, explaining it made for a fitting emotional boost.
Friday’s stars: Spencer Lloyd, 27 rushes for 203 yards and two touchdowns and 8 for 13 passing for 185 yards and one touchdown; Oscar Caridad, Blaine, carried 20 times for 114 yards and two scores; Caleb Revey, Lummi, had 314 yard total offense including 166 passing.
In other Friday games:
Lynden Christian 35, Anacortes 0
The Class 1A Lyncs (2-0) earned their second shutout against a Class 2A team as five different players scored at home, all in the first three quarters.
Trajen Schouten threw scoring passes of 14 yards to Tanner Feenstra and 3 yards to Sam Faber, while Levi Korthuis ran 18 times for 128 yards and a game-clinching 28 yard score.
LC’s first two scores were a 23-yard run by Jackson Corkill and a 10-yarder by Easton Stremler while Blake DeRuyter went 5 for 5 on conversion kicks and David Bootsma rushed nine times for 45 yards.
Nooksack Valley 50, Granite Falls 6
Cole Eldridge scored on runs of 5 and 22 yards and a 20-yard interception return, all in the first half for the Pioneers (2-0), who led 47-0 after three quarters, and made no turnovers in a heavy rain on the road and held Granite to 82 total yards.
Austin O’Bryan completed 5 of 7 passes for 93 yards and three touchdowns, with 14- and 29-yarders to Evan Neitling and a 1-yarder to Halston Boersema.
Scout Whittern added a 10-yard touchdown run and a 37-yard field goal for Nooksack, which had no turnovers, claimed four by Granite Falls, and received coach Robb Myhre’s praise for outstanding efforts from its kickoff coverage team.
Blaine 27, Bothell Cedar Park Christian 23
The Borderites (2-0) made it exciting as Danyil Tkachov ran for a crucial 20 yards and Chase Abshere caught a 28-yard touchdown pass with 45 seconds left for the game-winner from sophomore Will McKinney, who completed 10 of 16 passes for 127 yards.
Oscar Caridad rushed 20 times for 114 yards and touchdowns of 2 and 14 yards and Kirk Kamrath kicked field goals of 32 and 30 yards and all three extra points. Abshere caught four passes for 57 yards and Derrek Machula grabbed four for 52 yards.
Blaine coach Jay Dodd credited his defensive backs -- Machula, Abshere, Alex Mercado and Jaden Fritsch -- with “doing a great job tackling in space, reading keys and defending an unusual wing-T offense with only one or no receivers.”
Squalicum 42, Arlington 21
The Storm (2-0) continued a strong start as senior quarterback Spencer Lloyd ran 27 times for 203 yards and two touchdowns and completed 8 of 13 passes for 185 yards including a 50-yard score to Declan McGhee.
McGhee provided the key play with a 63-yard interception return for a 21-14 lead in the third quarter and the Storm never trailed after that play. Branden Powers gained 79 yards on 13 rushes and scored an important touchdown.
“We’re really happy with our guys,” said Storm coach Nick Lucey. “Arlington has an outstanding quarterback and the guys just did a great job on defense.”
Lummi 38, La Conner 14
The young Blackhawks (2-0) enjoyed a big game by sophomore Jaie Leighton, who scored on a 55-yard run to help junior quarterback Caleb Revey, who ran 16 times for 166 yards and three scores and completed 14 of 26 passes for 148 yards for 314 yards total offense
Arthur Felix made it 30-0 with a 10-yard scoring run, Justin Mahle caught four passes for 87 yards and Miquel Ortez and Nathan Kiely had key interceptions.
Revey won divisional WIAA Wendy’s Athlete of the Week honors in the Blackhawks’ 58-50 win over Tacoma Baptist last , in which the junior threw for the game-winner with 40 seconds left and finished with 19 rushes for 190 yards and three scores, completed 25 for 37 for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns. He accounted for 52 points in all after also making five two-point conversions.
Mount Baker 44, Sehome 19
The Mountaineers (1-1) had five different players score touchdowns, led by Kaleb Bass, who rushed for two scores and three for three more to help Mount Baker bounce back from a Week 1 loss to Lynden.
Michael Kentner and Kobee Malone were on the receiving end of Bass’ touchdown tosses, while Sam Barrett and Jasco Lee each scored rushing TDs for the Mountaineers.
Mount Baker’s defense also forced four turnovers to create short fields.
Mount Baker will host Leavenworth Cascade (2-0) on Friday.
Meridian 27, Colville 14
Dawson Logan passed for 142 yards and rushed for 108 to lead the Trojans over visiting Colville.
Meridian (1-1) host Mission, B.C., on Friday.
Lakewood 40, Bellingham 14
The Red Raiders dropped their second straight and will host Sammamish on Friday. No other information was provided.
Friday, Sept. 14
Cascade at Mount Baker, 7 p.m.
Nooksack Valley at King’s, 7 p.m.
Mission (B.C.) at Meridian, 7 p.m.
Lynden Christian at Blaine, 7 p.m.
Sehome at Centralia, 7 p.m.
Lord Tweedsmuir (B.C.) at Lynden, 7 p.m.
Squalicum at Marysville-Pilchuck (at Quil Ceda Stadium), 7 p.m.
Marysville-Getchell at Ferndale, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 15
Lummi at Seattle Lutheran (at West Seattle Stadium), 1 p.m. (replaces canceled home game against Muckleshoot Tribal School)