Nooksack Valley came out on top against Lynden Christian 27-24 after a hard-fought game that wasn’t decided until the clock hit zero Friday, Oct. 24, at Lynden Christian High School to spoil senior night for the Lyncs.
The Pioneers struck first with an 11-yard run by Tanner Myhre toward the end of the first quarter. With a 7-0 lead against the Lyncs after the first quarter, things started looking good for Nooksack Valley.
The game took a sudden turn in momentum after Lynden Christian found the end zone for the first time in the game with 7:58 left in the second quarter on an 18-yard pass from junior quarterback Lucas Roetcisoender to senior wide receiver Travis Roosma. The Lyncs broke away with what was thought to turn into a blowout game after extending its lead to 21-7, which came from two more touchdown passes from Roetcisoender, both thrown to senior wide receiver Alex Vander Velden.
With a 21-7 deficit and a second quarter the Pioneers had, Nooksack Valley showed its toughness by not giving up on the game.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
“We wanted to establish a physical presence,” coach Robb Myhre said. “We’re known to be soft and fold over in these situations.”
Nooksack Valley bounced back in the third quarter with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Myhre to senior wide receiver Joshua Gimmaka, which cut Lynden Christian’s lead 21-13 after a blocked extra point. A field goal from Lynden Christian’s senior kicker Cody Fransen finished out the scoring for the third quarter with the score at 24-13 and the Lyncs eyeing a victory.
The fourth quarter is when the toughness of the Pioneers was put to the test. Nooksack Valley responded in the best way possible, by running the ball hard and getting two touchdowns on the ground. Senior running back Adam Mydland got the first score of the quarter at the 7:57 mark on a 1-yard run, but the 2-point conversion was no good, cutting Lynden Christian’s lead 24-19.
“We ran the ball well tonight, we were physical,” Robb Myhre said.
Now was the time for the defense to show its physicality, which it did. The defense came up with key stops to get the ball back into the Pioneer offense, with a chance to win the game.
“The kids never stopped believing,” Robb Myhre said. “We wanted to put the ball behind our best blockers.”
Behind the offensive line, Nooksack Valley was able to march down the field and get a go-ahead touchdown with 35 seconds left in the game after an 11-yard touchdown run from Myhre. A 2-point conversion on a pass from Myhre to Gimmaka gave the Pioneers a 27-24 lead with 35 seconds to go.
Lynden Christian’s offense threw the ball four times in a row, but were unable to get anything to go and Nooksack Valley came away with a tough road win.
For Lynden Christian, penalties negated all the big plays on offense, which hurt them at the end.
“Every time we got something going, penalties hurt us,” coach Galen Kaemingk said.
Even though the Lyncs ended the game in defeat, there are positives in the game. Roetcisoender threw the ball for 164 yards with three touchdowns and Vander Velden caught two touchdowns in the game.
“We came out and played hard,” Kaemingk said. “Nooksack just did a good job running in the second half.”
Nooksack Valley ran the ball for 217 yards, behind Myhre’s 163, ending the night with three touchdown runs. Myhre also finished the night throwing for 197 yards.
Lynden Christian plays Mount Baker at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, at Mount Baker High School; Nooksack Valley faces Meridian at 7 p.m. the same day at Nooksack Valley High School.
N.V. — Tanner Myhre 8 run (Beard kick)
L.C. — Lucas Roetcisoender 18 pass to Travis Roosma (Cody Fransen kick)
L.C. — Roetcisoender 5 pass to Alex Vander Velden (Fransen kick)
L.C. — Roetcisoender 20 pass to Vander Velden (Fransen kick)
N.V. — Myhre 20 pass to Josh Gimmaka (Beard kick blocked)
L.C. — Fransen field goal
N.V. — Adam Mydland 1 run (2-point no good)
N.V. — Myhre 3 run (2-point good, Myhre pass to Gimmaka)
RUSHING — Nooksack Valley: Tanner Myhre 34-163, Adam Mydland 9-38, Connor Beard 2-16. Lynden Christian: Cody Jansen 14-40, Jake Van Berkum 5-22, Nathan Rusnak 1-17, Blake Mellema 1-2, Lucas Roetcisoender 3-(-4).
PASSING — Nooksack Valley: Tanner Myhre 21-33-2-218. Lynden Christian: Lucas Roetcisoender 10-21-164-1.
RECEIVING — Nooksack Valley: Joshua Gimmaka 5-65, Connor Beard 9-71, Brady Wood 3-26, Adam Mydland 2-15, William Kingma 2-41. Lynden Christian: Jake Van Berkum 1-6, Alex Vander Velden 5-103, Nathan Rusnak 2-27, Travis Roosma 2-28.