Mount Baker’s three touchdowns and Lynden Christian’s two scores were all nothing less than beautiful plays.
But from the Mountaineers’ standpoint, the prettiest aspect of their 20-13 win was the clutch, game-ending drive on which they did not score.
After a Friday night of memorable heroics — with the winner assured a tie for first place in the Class 1A Northwest Conference with two rounds remaining — 10 power runs by Baker’s Sam Barrett, Jason Lee and quarterback Kaleb Bass netted 56 yards and four first downs in the final 6 minutes and 49 seconds.
Nothing the least bit fancy, in contrast to Baker’s touchdowns: a 34-yard pass from Bass to Kobee Malone; a 29-yard pass from wide receiver Michael Kentner to younger brother Waylon Kentner; and a 12-yard run by Bass, who provided the game’s final points in the third quarter.
LC’s two scores were equally colorful: a 43-yard pass from Bryce Bouwman to Jackson Corkill, cutting Baker’s bulge to 14-7 in the second quarter, and a 16-yard pass from Bouwman to Tanner Feenstra in the third quarter, slicing Baker’s lead to 14-13, although the Lyncs missed the extra point.
“I sure never expected to catch a touchdown pass from my brother,” said junior Waylon Kentner, considering that senior Michael Kentner has never played quarterback. “It’s the greatest feeling.”
Bass, a three-year starter, began the perfectly executed trick play with a backward flip to Michael.
“Kobee Malone was my first option, but he was covered so I checked down to Waylon, who was the second option,” said Michael, sounding very much like a quarterback. “That’s the first pass I’ve thrown this year.”
Waylon could not have been more thrilled.
“I was pretty confident I would catch it,” said Waylon, sounding like the receiver he is. “I got a great block from Kobee so I could score.”
Junior quarterback Bouwman, starting for the second week in place of injured Trajan Schouten, completed 12 of 22 passes for 146 yards, the two touchdowns and no interceptions while finding five different receivers for the Lyncs (5-2 overall, 2-2).
Baker (5-2, 3-1) — which next faces co-leader Meridian on Oct. 19 — received solid rushing from Barrett (17 carries for 70 yards) and Lee (14 for 52) while Bass completed 5 of 11 passes for 70 yards and no interceptions. Levi Korthius led LC with 56 yards on 14 carries.
Indeed, there were no turnovers in what LC coach Dan Kaemingk called “a fantastic (homecoming) game.”
“I am just so very proud of our fight, of our effort,” he said. “The kids knew they had to play harder (after losing 35-20 to Meridian last week) and they did.”
The league’s coaches cheered the confirmed allocation at a recent meeting of a chance for the third-place NWC 1A team to have a shot at getting to state.
“I think we can be dangerous if we can get there,” said Kaemingk, whose team beat Baker 28-20 in the first round.
Likewise, Baker coach Ron Lepper, who praised his team for its third consecutive road win, was just as proud of his gritty bunch.
“We had a great answer (Bass’ touchdown run to cap a 65-yard drive after LC’s second touchdown). “LC is pretty good at what they do.”
When it was suggested that Malone — who came into the season as an unheralded senior — might be Baker’s most improved player, Lepper smiled and said, “He probably is.”
Malone’s 15-yard catch to LC’s 20 yard line on third and 5 helped set up Bass’ big touchdown run.
Friday’s stars (based on information received): Michael Kentner, Mount Baker, threw a wide receiver-to-wide receiver 29-yard touchdown pass to brother Waylon Kentner; Eric Martin-Mann, Lynden, rushed for 108 yards and three first-quarter touchdowns in unbeaten Lynden’s 55-21 win over Sedro-Woolley; Dawson Logan accounted for three touchdowns running and one passing in Meridian’s 40-27 win over Nooksack Valley.
In Friday’s other games:
Lynden 55, Sedro-Woolley 21: The Lions (7-0, 4-0) wrapped up an unbeaten season in the NWC’s new 2A Sky Division (designated the stronger league) as Eric Martin-Mann rushed 14 times for 108 yards and scored three first-quarter touchdowns against the Cubs (3-4, 1-2). James Marsh rushed 10 times for 42 yards and two scores and completed 12 of 13 passes for 180 yards and a 35-yard score to Kobe Elsner, who caught four passes for 63 yards and grabbed his fifth interception of the season. Grant VanderYacht snagged five passes for 92 yards including a 48-yarder from Brock Heppner. The other scores were by Heppner and senior backup Luke Caspian on an 11-yard run, giving Caspian 38 yards on seven carries. Marko Samoukovic went 6 for 6 on conversions and is 24 for 24 for the season plus 6 for 6 on field goals. The Lions, who scored on all eight possessions, will play a non-league game against Vancouver College, then will have a bye in Week Nine before playing as the district’s No. 1 seed in Week 10.
Squalicum 42, Stanwood 10: The Storm (6-1, 4-1) clinched a sub-district playoff berth in the 3A Wesco North with a homecoming win at Civic Stadium as Devante Powell had an interception and scored two of Squalicum’s six touchdowns on the ground against Stanwood. Powell‘s 47-yard scoring dash clinched the win at 35-10 a little less than midway through the fourth quarter. Dedrick Mitchell’s 7-yard score gave the Storm a 14-3 lead. The Storm, assured of a top-three finish, will play for the Wesco North title Friday at Oak Harbor, which has the same records, in the final league game before the playoffs begin for both teams.
Ferndale 42, Marysville-Pilchuck 21: Ferndale (2-5, 2-3) retained its playoff hopes in the 3A Wesco North with a home upset of title-contender Marysville-Pilchuck (5-2, 3-2) in what coach Jamie Plenkovich called “definitely our best game of the season.” Highlights included Gader Fox’s touchdown run of about 60 yards and Jacob Broselle’s game-opening kickoff return of about 80 yards for a score, plus multiple touchdowns by Bryan Ebe. “Our offensive line had its best game and our whole defense was outstanding,” Plenkovich said. “It was just a great team effort. I’m happy for our kids because they have stuck together through adversity.” Ferndale likely will need a win over Stanwood plus help from Arlington against Marysville-Pilchuck for the Golden Eagles to make the playoffs.
Meridian 40, Nooksack Valley 27: Quarterback Dawson Logan ran for three touchdowns, including a 46-yarder, and threw a scoring pass to Kevin Galiano for the Trojans (5-2, 3-1). Dawson has accounted for nine touchdowns in a two-game span for the former wide receiver, including seven runs. Junior Alex Carrillo intercepted two passes while linebacker Dylan Hickok was a defensive standout and ran for a score. For Nooksack (3-4, 0-4), Austin O’Bryan and Tyler Rawls accounted for most of the offense.
Bellingham 17, Mountlake Terrace 7: In a battle of 2A Lake Division leaders, the Red Raiders (5-2, 4-0) amassed about 300 yards rushing against Mountlake (4-3, 3-1) at Edmonds Stadium. The Red Raiders’ final league game will be against Sehome on Friday at Civic Stadium. It will be the most meaningful game between the rivals in many years, since the Mariners were 3-3, 2-1 going into a late Saturday night game against Anacortes. No other Bellingham information was provided.
Lummi 42, Neah Bay 8: The young Blackhawks reversed a 40-34 first-round loss to a tough rival in the Northwest B1 Conference with an impressive home victory and improved to 7-2 overall, 2-2 in league. No other information was provided.
Blaine 49, Cedarcrest 8: At homecoming, the Borderites (3-4, 1-3) prepared for a crossover playoff game in Week 9 by winning their last game in their old stadium, as Alex Mercado rushed for 125 yards on 23 carries and scored four touchdowns and Oscar Caridad gained 106 yards on 18 carries. Sophomore quarterback Will McKinney enjoyed his best game with 11 for 21 passing for 105 yards and a score. Blaine forced five turnovers and held the Red Wolves to negative rushing yardage until the fourth quarter. Blaine’s new stadium is scheduled to be ready for the 2019 season.
In Saturday’s game:
Sehome 49, Anacortes 14: The Mariners (4-3, 3-1) received 12 for 13 passing for 270 yards from sophomore quarterback Jacob Kaepernick, who threw touchdown passes to Michael McLin, Brett Meggysey, Dylan Roberts and Christian Knudtson. Roberts’ scoring catch was good for 65 yards to go with his team-leading 55 yards rushing on eight carries, including one score. McLin caught three passes for 77 yards, and Austin Roberts grabbed three for 73 yards and also scored on a 1-yard run. Felipe Arreola returned a punt 27 yards to score and kicked all seven extra points, while Jay Travere had two interceptions to give him six this season. In their most meaningful meeting in many years, the Mariners will meet Bellingham (5-2, 4-0) Friday with the title on the line in their final Lake Division game.
Friday, Oct. 19
Lummi at Naselle, 5 p.m.
Meridian at Mount Baker, 7 p.m.
Lynden Christian at Nooksack, 7 p.m.
Sehome at Bellingham (at Civic Stadium), 7 p.m.
Squalicum at Oak Harbor, 7 p.m.
Vancouver College at Lynden, 7 p.m.
Ferndale at Stanwood, 7 p.m.
Blaine at Anacortes, 7 p.m.