Sedro-Woolley Cubs (12-1) vs Lynden Lions (12-1)
1:00 pm Saturday at the Tacoma Dome
All-Time State Tournament
Sedro-Woolley: Entries – 7; Record – 9-6; Best Finish – Runner-up (1983)
Lynden: Entries – 25; Record – 54-17; Best Finish – Champion (1980, 1991, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Head Coach: Dave Ward (3rd year)
Dave Ward might be the most underrated coach in the state. All the guy does is win game. He won at Oak Harbor (1991-2007), Archbishop Murphy (2008-2011) and is now doing the same at Sedro-Woolley.
Ward won a State Championship with Oak Harbor in 2006 over Bothell. He then took Archbishop Murphy to the final back-to-back years in ’08 and ’09 before losing to Tumwater and Lynden, in what will go down as one of the all-time best games.
Sedro-Woolley has always been known as one of the state’s best wrestling schools, and Ward has done a tremendous job transforming them into one of the better football schools.
I had a conversation with a coach in the area the day Ward was hired at Sedro-Woolley and he said, “It won’t be long before Dave has contending for a State Championship.” Well, its year three and here we are.
Head Coach: Curt Kramme (24th year)
From 1972 to 1988, the Lynden Lions were led by Rollie DeKoster, and were a perennial state title contender, including a title in 1980. After he retired, Ross Boice took over for two year, and the Lynden program hit a wall.
Curt Kramme took over in 1991, winning a 1A State Championship in his first season, and the rest is what we call history. Kramme is a 227-54 All-Time at Lynden and in 24 years, he only has two losing seasons, going 4-5 in both 1993 and 2003.
The Lions have bounced between 1A, 2A and 3A over the years, and since joining 2A in 2006, they have won six of eight state titles. The 2012 team is possibly the best 2A team I have ever seen, eventually sending five athletes to D1 schools for football.
Sedro-Woolley on Offense:
A Dave Ward coached football is going to run the ball, and they are going to run it a lot. In last week’s win over Tumwater, the Cubs totaled 260 yards, with 243 coming via the ground game.
The back most likely to see the ball is senior Quinn Carpenter. In the first meeting with Lynden, Carpenter carried the ball 17 times for 109 yards and a touchdown. Carpenter is over a 1,000 yards on the season after last week’s win over Tumwater, and is flat out fun to watch. The 5-foot-11, 200 pounder back runs hard and is very tough to bring down.
If you consider Carpenter to be the thunder, Mason Elms would be the lightning. Elms is a speedy back, that will also see time in the wildcat, and is also the team’s leading receiver. Needless to say, you will see a lot of Elms on Saturday afternoon.
When Elms isn’t taking snaps in the wildcat, junior Devin Willard will be the signal caller. Willard is over 1,000 yards passing, with 17 touchdowns and is completing around 60% of his passes. While Willard is not asked to throw the ball much, he is rather efficient when his number is called.
Elms is over 500 yards receiving, which is about 200 more than Anthony Cann, who is second on the list. Cann shows good athleticism, and was credited with blocking a Tumwater FG attempt in the final few seconds to preserve a one-point victory.
Up front for the Cubs is a very good and physical offensive line, led by seniors Gabe Torgerson and Chad Wilburg. Both are physical two-way standouts.
Alongside those two is some serious beef. Juniors Andrew Engelbretson (6’2″ 260) and Erik Lukner (6’3″ 300) do a great job getting a push, and getting to the second level. The smallest of the bunch is senior center Blake Beachum at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, but he is very technical and great at securing his block
Lynden on Offense:
Lynden runs a spread offense, and can beat you one the ground or through the air.
Junior QB Sterling Somers took over midway through last season when the starter, Lucas Peterson, was injured, and never gave the job back on way to a state championship. The 6-foot-4 signal caller is closing in on 3,000 yards passing, and over 600 yards rushing, with 44 total touchdowns.
A big piece of the offense, and defense, was inactive during the first meeting between these two teams, as RB Trent Postma was forced to miss the game. Postma, the Lions’ leading rusher, can beat you with speed or power, and averages in the neighborhood of 8 yards per carry.
The most impressive part of the Lynden offense are the wide receivers. Both Jordan Wittenberg and Scooter Hastings have already scored double digit touchdowns, with Wittenberg leading the team in receiving with 1,377 yards. Hastings is almost un-guardable at 6-foot-7, 220 pounds and will be playing basketball at Cal Poly Pomona.
Jonathan Whetnall is the team’s second leading receiver with 43 catches for 680 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Up front the Lions are have experience and strength. They are led by Bryce Sterk, who is seeing significant D1 interest, along with Caden Lair and Derron Dunnigan.
Lynden got off to a hot start last week, leading 20-0 after the first quarter, and will look to do much of the same this week.
Sedro-Woolley on Defense:
The Cubs like to use a three man front, with Gabe Torgerson, Blake Beachum and Quinn Carpenter doing the dirty work to free up the linebackers. These three are strong at the point of attack, and really do a great job flowing with the play and making tackles.
Chad Wilburg does a tremendous job setting the tone from his inside linebacker spot. He is a big body that fills gaps, and really lays the lumber play after play. Teaming with Wilburg on the inside is senior Jacob Farrell, who has good speed and really flies around to the ball.
At outside linebacker is Jay Burger and Quinten Roppel. These two played on the line, in a two-point stance last week against Tumwater, and did a nice job setting the edge and forcing the Tumwater rushing attack back inside to the flow of the defense.
Cornerback Anthony Cann is going to have to play his bet game of the year if the Cubs are going to win. He had an INT last week against Tumwater, and will be expected to make life hard on Lynden receivers.
Opposite Cann is Mason Elms, who is going to have to play at a high level on the defensive side of the ball as well. He is undersized at 5-foot8, so I would imagine he wont matchup against Scooter Hastings much.
The two safeties for Sedro-Woolley are juniors Billy Hornbeck and Carter Crosby. All-in-all this group is going to have to play better than they did last time against Lynden, when they gave up 360 yards through the air, and 494 total.
Lynden on Defense:
When trying to stop a Wing-T offense, you need to be tough up from, good at LB and have good run support from your secondary.
Up front the Lions play a three-man front, where Brody Weinheimer, James Cuny and Dalton Ohligschlager do most of the dirty work, allowin the linebackers to flow and make plays. Also look for Nathan Gomes to get into the rotation, as he has seen time throughout the season.
The heart and soul of the defense really comes at linebacker, where Trent Postma and Bryce Sterk do a tone of damage. Postma is a one of the top all-around athletes at the 2A level, and is a tremendous inside linebacker. Sterk on the other hand is an outside linebacker, that is tough as nails in run support, but has the ability to cover and work in space.
Make no mistake, Sterk does most of his work along the line and in the backfield, as he leads the team in tackles and sacks.
Juniors Jensen Mayberry and Caden Lair round out a group of all-around tough linebackers that will make like tough for the Cubs rushing attack.
The defensive backfield probably wont get a ton of work against Sedro-Woolley, but keep an eye on Jonathan Whetnall and Jordan Wittenberg, who go both ways. Also look for junior Noah King in the secondary, who averages around five tackles per game.