Bring on Lynden.
That’s who the River Ridge Hawks will face next week — a tradition-rich Lions program that’s won five of the past six Class 2A state titles — after their 57-14 victory over North Mason on Friday night at South Sound Stadium in a district crossover playoff game.
The time and day of next week’s 2A first-round state playoff game against third-ranked Lynden (9-1) wasn’t confirmed Friday night, but athletic director Gary Larson said it will be played at either 7 p.m. Friday or Saturday at Bellingham’s Civic Stadium.
In a season full of firsts, including most victories in a season and a co-league title, the Hawks (9-1) added a home playoff game to that list. The Lynden contest will be the Hawks’ third state playoff game in program history and first since the 1998 team advanced to the state quarterfinals.
And it was all River Ridge from the start against the Bulldogs as the Hawks built a 35-7 halftime lead, putting the game out of reach with a 21-point second quarter against 4-6 North Mason.
Quarterback Kobe Key had a near-perfect game, finishing 15 for 18 passing for 249 yards and five touchdowns. He was one of three Hawks totaling at least 160 yards; receiver Chris Leiba had eight catches for 165 yards and four touchdowns (one rushing) and Michael Key rushed for 164 yards on 18 carries.
After Daniel Burggraff’s 26-yard touchdown reception pulled North Mason to 14-7 with 10 minutes, 37 seconds remaining in the half, the Hawks reeled off 21 consecutive points in the second quarter for the fourth-touchdown lead at halftime.
In the area’s other Class 2A district crossover games, top-ranked Tumwater defeated R.A. Long, 28-0, and 2A Evergreen Conference runner-up W.F. West downed Woodland, 28-21. Undefeated Hockinson rallied with 24 fourth-quarter points to defeat Black Hills, 24-21, to end the Wolves’ season at 5-5.