Lynden quarterback Sterling Somers huddled by the many small flame-contained propane heaters to keep warm on the sidelines. On the field he used both his arm and legs to stay hot.
The Lions junior signal-caller faced freezing temperatures, a tough Ellensburg defense and had a trip to the Class 2A State Playoff championship game on the line Saturday, Nov. 29 in Moses Lake.
He was unfazed by each challenge.
Somers engineered one of his best all-around performances of the season, especially given the conditions, during Lynden’s biggest game this fall, a 33-6 win over the previously undefeated Bulldogs.
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He completed 15 of 19 passes on a day throwing only seemed plausible during the first and third quarter when the wind was at the Lions’ backs. Somers threw for 205 yards with touchdown passes of 4 and 9 yards, but that wasn’t all.
The Lynden quarterback ran for a season-high 108 yards and touchdowns of 1 and 7 yards on 17 carries, consistently keeping the chains moving.
“He has been a great player for us for over a season and a half now,” Lynden coach Curt Kramme said of Somers. “He’s calm under pressure, doesn’t get flustered, takes a sack when he needs to and can throw the ball. I’d like to sit here and tell you that’s all coaching, but it isn’t. He’s a fine athlete and has been given some real gifts to work with, and he takes advantage of them.”
Somers should eclipse the 3,000 passing-yard threshold next week against Sedro-Woolley, as Saturday’s outing increased his total to 2,979 to go with 35 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Somers had to work for each of his 205 yards against Ellensburg. The junior wore bulky black gloves throughout the game, but he didn’t let them affect his accuracy.
Even when the pass wasn’t open, Somers found a way to gash the Bulldogs with his running ability.
“It’s awesome,” said Somers of being such a large contributor. “I got great blocks the whole game, and if I can help the team win in as many ways as I can, might as well.”
Perhaps Somers’ best throw came late in the contest, when he connected with wide receiver Jordan Wittenberg on a slant-and-go. He gave the Ellensburg cornerback a convincing pump fake before hitting Wittenberg in stride down the left sideline for a 34-yard completion. Wittenberg would have scored if he wouldn’t have lost his footing on the turf.
Surely, the Lions will need another big game out of Somers next week, but as the quarterback’s proved the past year and a half, not even the biggest moments get under his skin.