Sedro-Woolley isn’t just a one-sport school anymore.
“We can finally say we’re a wrestling and a football school,” said wingback and cornerback Mason Elms said. “There’s no more doubts that we’re only good at wrestling.”
The Cubs’ dynasty on the mats includes 16 consecutive top-10 team finishes (with six straight state titles) at Mat Classic dating to 1999. They can now include their first football state title in school history after dethroning three-time defending state champion Lynden, 42-13, in the Class 2A state title game Saturday afternoon.
“It’s been the most crazy ride,” said Elms, who scored a pair of touchdowns.
The crazy ride started in 2012, when head coach Dave Ward and his staff were hired to turn around a struggling program with few winning seasons before his arrival. Ward had won a 3A state title in 2006 with Oak Harbor and went 47-6 from 2008-11 with Archbishop Murphy, including back-to-back 2A state title game appearances.
Of Lynden’s 12 title game appearances, it’s the Lions’ first loss since 2002 (3A).
Sporting a newly minted “2014 State Champs” long-sleeved T-shirt and holding his 1-year-old grandson, Ward said he and his staff couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids to mold and build into a team.
“They were individuals when we got here,” he said. “And now they’ve become a team.”
During the Northwest Conference regular season, Lynden (12-2) sneaked by Sedro-Woolley (13-1) on the road, 33-30, on Oct. 24. The Lions trailed 21-0 before mounting a late-game comeback.
But on Saturday, the Cubs held a 379-264 advantage in total offense and a 30:31-17:29 edge in time of possession. But the turning point came with Sedro-
Woolley’s lead at 14-6 with 4 minutes, 10 seconds left in the third quarter.
With Lynden driving and facing second-and-15 at the Cubs’ 24, Elms intercepted Lynden quarterback Sterling Somers at the 10 and ran it back 52 yards to the Lynden 38. Three plays later, Elms added a 4-yard touchdown run — the first of 14 points in a span of 2:05 in the quarter for the Cubs. Another interception of Somers, this one by Chad Wilbug, set up the Cubs at the Lynden 23. Quinn Quinn Carpenter’s 6-yard TD run put Sedro-Woolley ahead 28-6 with 1:09 to go in the quarter.
In all, the Sedro-Woolley secondary got interceptions from Elms, Wilburg, Carter Crosby, and two from Anthony Cann.
From there, two more touchdowns were scored off a Lynden squad that hadn’t allowed 42 points in a game all season.
“(The coaches) gave us the confidence coming in that we could win this game and we could go far this season,” Elms said.