Random Recap: 1976 Game #8, Meridian 27 – Lynden Christian 0 (Meeting #2)

1976 Game #8:  Meridian 27, Lynden Christian 0 (Meeting #2)

From the Bellingham Herald
by Sherry Stripling
Meridian Casts 27-0 Spell over Christian
For Lynden Christian, it well could have been an Alfred Hitchcock production.
In the chilly, late-fall weather that makes each body-hit hurt twice as hard, with the surrealistic fog covering the field in front of the half-empty stadium, Lynden Christian was frightened 27-0 by Whatcom County League-leading Meridian.
Nightmares have started from less than what Meridian did to the Lyncs Friday night.
For openers, Meridian gained 300 yards despite being assessed nine penalties for 85 yards.  For closers, the Trojan defense did to the Lync offense what the birds did to Rod Taylor in Hitchcock’s 1964 movie.
“May we rest in peace,” Lynden Christian coach Fred Ypma said after the Trojan raid.
Meridian held Lynden Christian to 33 yards in total offense and allowed only two first downs not earned by penalties.
The Trojans’ Mike Neer, Jim Unruh, Jeff Hemnes and Dale Wasel combined in one three-play series late in the first half to throw Lync quarterback Terry Kaemingk for minus 17 yards and one desperate incompleted pass.  Neer, who was in on all three of those quarterback sacks, had 15 tackles for the night.
Meridian’s offense was no kinder.  Three times Meridian quarterback Ken Shockey threw long bombs to Wasel and Terry Shockey as though the LC secondary were a bevy of ghosts.
Two of those passes, a 54-yarder to Wasel in the first quarter and a 23-yard pass play to Terry Shockey in the second quarter, resulted in touchdowns for the Trojans.  The third moved Meridian half the distance of the field before a fumble on the next play recovered by Lynden Christian’s Harold Speelman made the drive pointless.
The first pass-play touchdown, in which Wasel knocked down three Lync defenders to get over the goal line, came less than two minutes after powerful Dudley Nightingale ran a one-yard sweep in for Meridian’s first TD.
Still, Meridian coach Bob Ames, who searched through 20 years of Meridian annuals to find a year that could compare with the 1976 7-1 record, was not pleased by Friday night’s game.
“We’re finally 100 percent (healthy),” Ames said, “and we didn’t play that well.  We really hit some lucky passes.  We had so many mistakes, we missed five scoring opportunities.”
“They (Lynden Christian) could have come back and rolled over after halftime but they were up and they came back and played pretty good ball,” he said.  “The sophomores felt bad about it.”
It was primarily a second-unit defense in the second half, according to Ames, who claimed he used so many underclassmen in the game he has only 11 still eligible for next week’s junior varsity game.
Disaster-plagued Lynden Christian, which has not bee 100 percent healthy all season, was hit with more bad news at Thursday’s practice.
Gary Van Dalfsen, who proved he could pass with the best in the WCL after he replaced Kaemingk early in the year at quarterback, reported he was out for the season with torn blood vessels in his thigh.  Top halfback Duane VanderYacht was out with a hip pointer, leaving fullback Duane Huisingh (40 yards on 11 carries) and halfback Ron Vander Veen (13 yards on 11 carries) to shoulder the load.
Craig Engels, who missed most of the season to illness and injury, returned to practice Thursday and was reinjured.
“We had to change our whole game plan,” Ypma said.  “We had heard that Meridian’s left (side pass defense) was weak and we spent the first three days of practice on that.  We learned three or four new pass patterns.  When we came to practice Thursday, we had to kiss it all goodbye.”
Things did pick up some for the Lyncs in the second half when Vander Veen intercepted a Shockey pass, Huisingh completed a 17-yard run and Brett Beisheuvel stole a Meridian fumble.  But the Lyncs were never close enough to score.
The Trojans, who had four backs–Ken Shockey, Gorsenger, Nightingale, and Rohwer–with over 30 yards rushing, brought the score to 27-0 early in the second quarter when Gorsenger ran three yards for the TD.
Lynden Christian, now 1-7, will meet Blaine away next Friday, while the big game for Meridian will be its hosting of No. 2 Nooksack Valley Friday.
“If they (Nooksack) really put it together, they can whale us good,” Ames said.

Stat Stars

Ken Shockey
Passing: 3-6, 187 yards, 2 tds, 1 int
Rushing: 7-39
Punt Returns: 2-4
Interceptions: 1-5

Dudley Nightingale
Rushing: 11-53, 1 td
Kick-off Returns: 1-35

Dale Wasel
Rushing: 2-6
Receiving: 2-110, 1 td
Interceptions: 1-23

Terry Shockey
Receiving: 1-77, 1 td
Punt Returns: 1-7

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