NK loses heartbreaker to Lynden in state 2A title game

The North Kitsap High School football came so close to winning its first-ever state championship Dec. 3 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

But the Vikings lost to a familiar foe in the Lynden Lions 31-24; the same team that beat them 15-10 in the state semifinals last season. The score was tied 24-24 before Lynden scored the winning TD.

Please check back Dec. 4 for more on the game.

Going into the contest, Lynden’s Lane Heeringa has been their playmaker on both sides of the ball. Heeringa has 853 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. In addition, he has nearly 100 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 12 games. Lynden is a run-first offense.

Lynden’s top two receivers, Troy Petz and Isaiah Stanley, have 53 catches for 908 yards and eight touchdowns.

North Kitsap’s defensive backs have been targeted the last couple of weeks but stood to the challenge. Alex Hitchings has four interceptions, Logan Sloman three, and Benen Lawler and Karson Walsh have one each just in the past few games.

North Kitsap’s run defense continues to lift the heavy load, but its pass rush has been lacking the past few games. But the Vikings have earned 127 tackles for loss and 37.5 sacks on the season. Sofian Hammou leads the pack with 41.5 of his tackles being behind the line of scrimmage.

The NK offense likely will have to put up some numbers if they want to upset the Lions. Lynden is averaging over 45 points per game in the playoffs. Cole Edwards, Sloman and the Vikings running back core will have to have big games to win.