TACOMA – Curt Kramme stood back and stared in admiration.
His Lynden High School football team had just won an unprecedented third-straight Class 2A football championship Saturday at the Tacoma Dome, 38-28 over Tumwater.
Sure, the Lions have a rich tradition under Kramme. And though this was their sixth title in the past eight season, it was perhaps the most unlikely, with just three starters back from last year’s stacked team.
“I don’t want to say it was unexpected because you always go in hoping for the best,” Kramme said. “But I don’t think very many people at all thought that we’d be back here doing this again, so I’m so proud of these boys.”
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The Lions (14-0) scored on the second play of the game when Jared Moffatt returned a Tumwater fumble 44 yards for a touchdown. They took advantage of a short punt late in the second quarter and bullish Jaremy Martin broke a 20-yard TD run as Lynden went up 28-13.
The second-ranked Thunderbirds (13-1), who lost last year’s final, 41-7, were poised for a comeback under Sid Otton, the state’s all-time winningest coach.
“I told them at halftime, ‘Let’s turn this thing into a classic,’” Otton said.
It almost was. As it turned out, though, Martin’s second touchdown run, an 8-yarder with 5:09 left in the third quarter, stretched Lynden’s lead to 35-13 and it was just enough.
Tumwater quarterback Jayden Croft scored on a pair of keepers as the T-Birds cut it to 35-28 with 4:26 to play, but they couldn’t get the onside kick or final stop they needed.
“Tumwater is an outstanding team and they gave us quite a game, right down to the end, just as I expected they would,” Kramme said.
Martin finished with a game-high 90 yards rushing, picking up the load when Trent Postma suffered a dislocated knee.
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