There’s was plenty for Lynden coach Curt Kramme to like about his team’s 53-0 non-league win over Lakewood on Friday, Sept. 4, but perhaps the largest reason to feel encouraged is due to how well the Lions’ defense shut down the Cougars.
After yielding 234 rushing yards during a Week 1 loss to King’s, Lynden’s defense only gave up 88 ground yards on 24 carries, and nearly half of those came late in the fourth quarter when the game was well out of hand.
Starting middle linebackers Jensen Mayberry and Dalton Ohligschlager looked good patrolling the middle, and the Cougars could never really get anything going offensively.
Lynden limited the Cougars to six first downs and 203 total yards.
“We played real good,” Mayberry said. “We had a great week at practice, so we knew coming in that we really just needed to stop the run and as soon as we stopped the run we could stop the pass real easily, and we definitely showed we could stop the run.”
Lynden’s defense will be tested again next week against a Squalicum team with a large collection of talented athletes.
Golden Eagles try to take injuries in stride
With Ferndale starting running back Ben Broselle sidelined with an injury he sustained against Kamiakin, the Golden Eagles were put in a tough position.
That position got even tougher when on the first drive of the game, all-state defensive lineman Chris Hernandez went down with an injury.
“Anytime you have a player of his caliber go down, it’s going to hurt,” said coach Jamie Plenkovich, who didn’t know what the extent of Hernandez’s injury was immediately after the game.
Two very talented players watched the Golden Eagles fall to Oak Harbor 31-28 on Friday, Sept. 11, from the sideline.
But Ferndale wasn’t going to dwell on it.
“We talk all the time about the next guy has got to be ready to go,” Plenkovich said. “You can’t make excuses about guys being hurt. Everybody has that.”
On one side of the football, the Golden Eagles seemed unharmed. On the other end, it was not as successful.
Junior running back and defensive back Justice Powell tallied 230 yards and a touchdown, which came on Ferndale’s second play from the line of scrimmage, setting the tone for the rest of the night that Broselle’s absence wouldn’t be felt too strongly.
Defensively, though, Ferndale struggled to stop the run, getting gashed for 297 yards. When Ferndale was in desperate need of a stop, something the Golden Eagles couldn’t manage to do in the second half, the Wildcats ran the ball to the outside and capitalized on some poor tackling.
Whether or not Hernandez would have made a difference is a question that can’t be answered. But having an all-state player on the field never hurts.
Bellingham’s young defense gains encouragement
Bellingham’s young football team may have started the season 0-2 with non-league losses to Squalicum and Sehome, but the Red Raiders showed more than a little defensive determination in their 22-6 loss to the Mariners.
In fact, Bellingham forced Sehome star safety Taylor Rapp to stay on the field until the end of the game.
After one of Bellingham’s few seniors, Zach Lorenz, returned his second interception of the game 82 yards to score, sophomore Ethan Fields scrambled hard to recover an onside kick with 2 minutes and 22 seconds remaining. However, the Raiders could not take advantage.
The play, and the entire game, showed that coach Ted Flint’s Red Raiders don’t give up. For the most part, they played respectable defense, holding the Mariners to 100 yards on 32 rushes and playing pass defense well enough so that Sehome finished 6 for 22 for 137 yards.
Despite their 0-2 start, both Bellingham’s independent schedule and the Raiders’ sheer hustle appear to give them a shot at matching or surpassing last season’s 5-5 record.
Bellingham sophomore Isiah Harrington typified the night for the Raiders when he lost 16 yards on his first carry of the second half, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. Despite waves of Mariners defenders trying to push him back, he extended the play for a long time and refused to go down until Sehome finally trapped him in the shadow of his goal line.
Offensive line paves way for big day on ground
Thanking the offensive line after a successful game is cliché for a reason, because it’s true. You won’t find the work of the boys in the trenches in the box scores, but there’s no mistaking Mount Baker’s dominant line is vital to their success.
“Everything we do starts with our line,” said quarterback Mason Bass.
He’s definitely not wrong, because you don’t rush for 503 yards by accident. Even more impressive is the fact that seven of the nine rushing scores came off of runs over 20 yards, largely due to the massive holes created by the guys up front.
Most of the offensive line plays defensive line, too, and despite no sacks recorded they kept Hornet quarterback Nathan Hugus dirty all night long. Furthering that sentiment is the realization that the Hornets exited Bob Tisdale Field with just 82 yards on the ground, including six of 20 rushing attempts gaining zero or negative yardage.
All of this was not lost on running back Jed Schleimer, who made certain to give it up to the Mountaineers’ line or as he put it, the “hoggies.”