Lynden Christian’s football team has become accustomed to having a Faber on the field at all significant times.
Now it’s all up to Will Faber. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
For the first time, the senior center/linebacker was in on every play on offense and defense. And he made the most of it in LC’s 17-0 win over Blaine in a non-classification Northwest Conference game Friday.
“My brother Sam (now a student at the University of Washington) taught me to be tough,” said Will Faber, who was just that while playing what he acknowledged was likely the best defensive game of his career.
“I’d like to think it was my best,” said Faber, who started on defense last season and loved seeing his brother turn in many important plays as a receiver and runner as the Lyncs went 10-3 and made it to the state Class 1A semifinals.
Lyncs coach Dan Kaemingk agreed that Faber was outstanding all the way as LC improved to 2-0 while preparing to open the NWC 1A season against rugged Mount Baker (3-0) in the last possible matchup of unbeaten Whatcom County teams..
“Coach (Jay) Dodd did a nice job of putting in some defensive looks we hadn’t seen from Blaine (1-2) and we had to make adjustments on the fly,” Kaemingk said. “Having (veteran) inside linebackers like Will and Davis (Gatterman) really helped us make those adjustments from the sideline.”
While quarterback Trajan Schouten, receiver Jackson Corkill and running backs Easton Stremler and Levi Korthuis eventually overcame Blaine’s stubborn defense with two second-half touchdowns, senior soccer standout Eli DenBleyker showed promise in his first game.
DenBleyker’s 25-yard field goal — the impressive boot would have been good from more than 40 yards — gave the Lyncs a 3-0 lead in the second quarter. A 20-yard run by Korthuis, who did some outstanding blocking for Stremler, and a 23-yard pass from Schouten to Corkill set up the kick.
The Lyncs drove 65 yards on nine plays to open the second half, scoring on a 3-yard pass in the left corner from Schouten to Corkill. Schouten sparked the drive with passes of 19 and 9 yards to Zach Sipma and 9 yards to Tanner Feenstra.
Jude Veltkamp’s interception with six minutes to play set up LC’s clinching drive. Corkill quickly picked up 9 yards on a run and saw a 15-yard penalty against the Borderites tacked on, setting up Stremler’s 18-yard tackle-busting touchdown up the middle with 4:52 left. DenBleyker‘s second conversion kick made it 17-0.
Stremler’s big run enabled him to finish with 105 yards on 17 carries. Schouten finished 18 for 30 for 185 yards while withstanding interceptions by Blaine’s Dakota George and Zane Rector. Corkill made a first-half interception and caught five passes for 63 yards, while Feenstra snagged five for 58.
Rector’s interception at LC’s 44-yard line set up a drive to the 12 with the Lyncs ahead 10-0 late in the third quarter. But LC’s defense stiffened, including a terrific third-down stop by Faber for minus-2 yards at the 18, and Blaine missed a 35-yard field goal attempt.
“That (Faber’s big defensive moment) was huge,” said Kaemingk, who also noted solid defense by Sipma and Kase Lautenbach on the line.
Blaine’s returning junior quarterback, Will McKinney, demonstrated much-improved arm strength but was limited to 10-for-25 passing for 106 yards to five different receivers. The only running back who carried for Blaine, Oscar Caridad, provided encouragement with runs of 18 and 17 yards but otherwise was kept in check and finished with 20 carries for 70 yards.
Defensively for Blaine, senior all-leaguers Wyatt Cole and Gavino Rodriguez made good play after good play. But LC’s offense still piled up 374 total yards while limiting the Borderites to 176.
Rodriguez recovered a fumble in the end zone on LC’s first drive, which was set up by a fumble recovery by special teams player David Bootsma on Blaine’s kickoff return.
Blaine also had a defensive stand it could be proud of, including Gavino’s 10-yard sack to negate an LC drive from its 22-yard line to Blaine’s 4 with seven minutes to play.
In other Friday games:
Lynden 56, Steilacoom 47: Senior running back Steven DiLorenzo set a school record with 320 yards rushing on 25 carries and scored three touchdowns, and Brock Heppner clinched a wild home win for the Lions (2-1) with a 45-yard touchdown catch from junior Baylor Ayres with 46 seconds remaining.
DiLorenzo broke the record of 311 yards by Nick Ellis in 1996.
Heppner had a hat trick, scoring on runs of 11 and 9 yards, throwing a 17-yard touchdown pass for Kaleo Jandoc’s first varsity touchdown and scoring on the pass from Ayres, who finished 3 for 7 for 63 yards and rushed 10 times for 51 yards. Heppner ran 18 times for 73 yards, completed three passes for 30 and caught two for 43. Caleb Wheeler scored on a 14-yard run for Lynden’s third score and DiLorenzo sprinted 65 yards for the sixth touchdown. All-state kicker Marko Samoukovic made all eight extra points.
Lynden coach Blake VanDalen was thrilled to see the Lions hold Steilacoom’s Emeka Egbuka — rated the nation’s top junior athlete by 247 Sports — to one offensive touchdown. Egbuka scored on a 45-yard catch and a 37-yard interception return.
“He’s the best I’ve ever seen play against Lynden,” VanDalen said. “It took a great effort. Our idea was to try to make someone else beat us.”
VanDalen, a third-year head coach who played at Lynden and coached two decades as an assistant, said, “Two athletic directors with 51 years’ total experience (Mike McKee with 10, Terry DeValois with 41) said they had never seen a home game with more than 100 points scored. It really was a track meet.”
Mount Baker 24, Leavenworth Cascade 2: Mount Baker took a 21-0 lead after three quarters and wrapped up a non-conference win over Cascade (2-1) at Peshastin-Dryden Stadium with a mid-range field goal by Miguel Zavala midway through the fourth quarter.
The Mounties scored in each of the first three quarters on a short run by Toby Jefferson, a catch-run pass play from about midfield from Mason Jacoby to Ayden Rodiguez and a run by Jason Lee.
For the second time in three games, Baker had three interceptions, by Rodriguez, Lee and Davin Beason.
“Our (3-0) start is pretty good considering the level of competition we’ve played,” said Baker coach Ron Lepper, whose team is ranked second in the Associated Press poll, just ahead of Lynden Christian. The Mounties came in with wins over 2A Lynden and Sehome and has allowed three touchdowns overall.
Nooksack Valley 28, King’s 21: Quarterback Cole Eldridge scored the eventual winning touchdown on an 18-yard run midway through the fourth quarter for the Pioneers (2-1), who scored the game’s first three touchdowns at Nooksack.
Eldridge threw a 23-yard pass to Ryan Veening for Nooksack’s first score in the opening quarter and team rushing leader Dane Winter scored on a 73-yard run in the second quarter. Eldridge followed in the third quarter with a scoring run from about midfield (complete statistics were not yet available).
“King’s (0-3) also played well,” Nooksack coach Robb Myhre said. “They were on the field enough so that it felt like we ran about 20 plays, but our defense was tough. Clancy Coppinger played his best game at defensive end and (fellow sophomore) Jordan Silva stopped their momentum with a (first-half) interception in the red zone.”
“Nate Steele had a pick six but it was called back because of a penalty,” Myhre said.
Ferndale 41, Marysville-Getchell 14: The Golden Eagles (1-2) claimed their first win in their Wesco 3A Division opener after losses to 2018 state finalists Lake Stevens in 4A and Lynden in 2A.
“We had some kids really step up defensively in our best defensive effort for a team win,” Ferndale coach Jamie Plenkovich said.
Jacob Broselle ran for two scores and caught a touchdown pass of more than 60 yards from quarterback Haiden Rasmussen, and Ryan Pelton accounted for a first-half touchdown as the Eagles took a 27-0 halftime lead, Plenkovich said.
Thomas Broselle, a sophomore, scored on a run of about 20 yards for his first varsity touchdown and Andrew Monks had a fine effort on an interception return to set up a second-half score, the coach said.
Lummi 56, Anacortes 38: The Class B1 Blackhawks (3-0) played eight-man ball when they were on offense and a mixture of varsity and junior varsity players against host Anacortes, which is not playing a complete varsity schedule this season.
Lummi clinched the win with an 82-yard kickoff return by Duncan Toby for the game’s final points.
Jaie Leighton caught two touchdown passes from Jordan Jackson, who also threw a long pass to Caleb Revey for the game’s first score. William Elzey also scored on a short run and Revey added two scoring runs and finished with more than 200 yards (complete statistics were not yet available).
Toby and Leighton had interceptions for the Blackhawks, who next travel to Neah Bay on Friday.
Marysville-Pilchuck 34, Squalicum 7: Storm rushing leader Ben Schlenbaker avoided a shutout with a 55-yard touchdown run with 11 seconds remaining. The Storm fell to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the Wesco 3A North Division while the Tomahawks improved to 3-0, 2-0.
Dylan Carson ran for two scores and Jake Elwood ran and passed for touchdowns.
Bellingham 26, Sammamish 0: The Red Raiders (1-2) claimed their first win and scored their first offensive touchdowns for new coach An’dre Triplett in a road victory. No other information was provided.
Last Saturday’s game
Colville 28, Meridian 14: In a tough road challenge at defending 1A state champion Colville, the Trojans were tied 14-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
“We played hard. I saw improvement and I was real proud of the kids,” said Meridian coach Bob Ames, who saw Ryan Johnson score on a 65-yard kickoff return and Trent Martin score on run.
Meridian took a record of 0-2 into Saturday night’s home game against Amador of Sutter Creek in California’s Sierra Nevada foothills.
Week Four games
Mount Baker at Lynden Christian, 7 p.m.
Nooksack Valley at Meridian, 7 p.m.
Arlington at Ferndale, 7 p.m.
Cedarcrest vs. Bellingham at Civic Stadium, 7 p.m.
Squalicum vs. Marysville-Getchell at Quil Ceda, 7 p.m.
Sehome at Mercer Island, 7 p.m.
Lynden at Archbishop Murphy, 7 p.m.
Burlington-Edison at Blaine, 7 p.m.
Lummi at Neah Bay, 5:30 p.m.