Lynden ends Archbishop Murphy’s season — again

TACOMA — As good as it felt to thump the Lynden Lions back on Sept. 5 in Seattle, the Archbishop Murphy High School football team knew the season-opening triumph meant little in the big picture.

The game that counted, of course, was the rematch.

But on Saturday, Lynden once again won the battle that mattered.

Sparked by a quick, stingy defense and an offense that seemed to do whatever it wanted on the ground and through the air, Lynden beat the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats 38-14 in a Class 2A state football semifinal game at the Tacoma Dome.

Dual threat quarterback Jordan Hastings threw three touchdown passes and ran for one score for Lynden (12-1), which defeated Murphy (11-2) in the semifinals for the second straight year. Just like last season, Murphy beat Lynden in a week-one non-league game and then lost against Lynden in the state playoffs.

“Their line really improved. They were able to play well up front and hang onto the football,” Murphy coach Dave Ward said of Lynden’s senior-dominated squad.

Hastings, an elusive senior, sparked Lynden’s offense with his passing (9-for-16, 93 yards, three TDs) and running (15 carries for 102 yards with a 2-yard TD). Lynden, the 2008 state champion, will play West Valley of Spokane on Dec. 5 in the 2A title game at the Tacoma Dome.

Burly receiver Ryan Seto (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) made two TD receptions in the first quarter for Lynden, which scored on its first three possessions. Meanwhile, Murphy scored on its first drive but didn’t reach the end zone again until the fourth quarter. By that time, Lynden had already clinched it, essentially.

“We both came in with high intensity,” said Murphy senior Jacob Clark. “I just think (Lynden) came in a little bit hotter. But we knew we had to bring our best game and it wasn’t enough.”

It was the fourth time Murphy played Lynden the past two seasons. The series is split 2-2, but Lynden won both playoff games. The latest result makes Murphy’s season-opening 34-20 win over Lynden at Qwest Field seem pretty insignificant.

Three key injuries and an illness hampered Lynden in its loss at Qwest. The Lions were clearly at full strength this time.

“There’s so many threats on (Lynden’s) team that you just never know what they’re going to do,” said Clark. “They all played a hell of a game and I wish them the best of luck next week.”

“We haven’t really seen our offense — seen what we can do — all year. And I think today we showed that our offense is really explosive,” said Hastings, Lynden’s QB.

Murphy was within 21-7 by halftime but Lynden scored 17 points in a devastating spurt early in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Austin VanderWel and running back Cameron Guy scored TDs on the ground for Murphy, which hurt itself by losing three fumbles in the second half. Senior Alex Martinez, Murphy’s season leading rusher, lost a fumble on a run near his own 20-yard line late in the third quarter. Lynden quickly scored 10 points off of two turnovers and went ahead 31-7.

Then Martinez lost another fumble on a kickoff return, which set up Lynden’s final TD. The Lions built a 38-7 lead with 8:34 to go in the fourth quarter.

“We started trying too hard in the second half and the ball kept popping out,” coach Ward said, noting that Martinez was fighting a calf injury. “We have a lot of heart on this team and they came in here to win this game and they wanted to turn it around and make the momentum go our way.”

But Murphy never did. Lynden was in total control and the Lions tallied another playoff win over Murphy, which lost 21-13 versus Lynden in the 2008 semifinals.

“I’ve been thinking about this game so much, just to do it for my brother and the seniors last year — everyone,” said Murphy senior Jake Hines, a linebacker/offensive lineman.

Hines said he especially wanted to win for his brother, Freddie Hines, who played on Murphy’s 2007 team that forfeited its once-promising season because of a much-publicized rules violation involving a player’s expired physical exam.

Standing on the sideline wearing his old No. 66 jersey, Freddie Hines rooted for his brother and the other Murphy players on Saturday. But Lynden was too much. Although Jake Hines didn’t enjoy a victory, he made his family proud by receiving a sportsmanship award after the game.

Besides Hastings and Seto, Lynden’s other offensive leaders were Brett Bajema (90 yards rushing, one TD) and Washington State University-bound receiver Blair Bomber (four receptions for 47 yards with a 32-yard score).

Murphy’s top rushers were Martinez (61 yards on 13 carries) and VanderWel (11 carries, 35 yards). One of Murphy’s many experienced, talented juniors who will try to get back to the Dome next year, VanderWel also completed 3-of-7 passes for 59 yards.

At the Tacoma Dome


Archbishop Murphy7007—14

Lynden-Seto 4 pass from Hastings (Lopez kick)

Archbishop Murphy-VanderWel 2 run (Briede kick)

Lynden-Seto 14 pass from Hastings (Lopez kick)

Lynden-Hastings 2 run (Lopez kick)

Lynden-Lopez FG 18

Lynden-Bomber 32 pass from Hastings (Lopez kick)

Lynden-Bajema 3 run (Lopez kick)

Archbishop Murphy-Guy 8 run (Briede kick)

Records-Lynden 12-1. Archbishop Murphy 11-2.

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