Football: Meadowdale eliminates Oak Harbor from playoff contention

Good start, bad finish.

Oak Harbor scored on its first play of the game and rang up 20 first-half points, but the second half belonged to Meadowdale and the Mavericks won 41-20 at Wildcat Memorial Stadium Thursday, Oct. 28.

The loss eliminated Oak Harbor from the playoffs, dropping its final Wesco 3A record to 3-4 (5-4). Meadowdale is 5-2 and 6-3.

Next Thursday the Wildcats will compete in a cross-over nonleague game along with all of the other Wesco schools who did not qualify for the post season. Oak Harbor is slated to go to Monroe at 7 p.m.

Missed opportunities haunted the Wildcats in the loss to Meadowdale. Oak Harbor started drives at the Maverick 11, 30 and 35 and came away empty after a blocked field goal and two interceptions.

Looking at the final score, the game appeared to be a rout. But that wasn’t the case; Oak Harbor was in the game until middle of the fourth quarter.

With 5:10 left in the game and Meadowdale clinging to a 26-20 lead, it appeared Oak Harbor forced the Mavericks to give up the ball on downs when a fourth-and-two pass fell incomplete. However, pass interference was called on the Wildcat defender. Meadowdale was rewarded with a first down on the Oak Harbor 10. Moments later the Mavs scored, hit the two-point conversion and led 34-20 with just 4:26 left.

On the next Wildcat series, sophomore quarterback Ian Kolste, making only his second start, was sacked and fumbled and Meadowdale gained possession on the Oak Harbor 18. Initial reports indicate Kolste suffered a broken arm on the play.

Two plays later Meadowdale scored to reach the final count of 41-20.

There were fireworks early in the contest.

Josiah Miller motored around right end for a 55-yard touchdown run on Oak Harbor’s first play. Peter Franssen kicked his first of two PAT’s.

Meadowdale responded with its own 55-yard TD when Nathan Ball hit Sam Thomas on the Mavericks fifth play. The PAT was wide left.

With 3:50 left in the first quarter, Oak Harbor recovered a fumble at its own 18 to thwart a Meadowdale threat. From there the Wildcats drove 82 yards for their next score. John Lanningham battered his way in from seven yards for the touchdown. The drive featured a 23-yard pass play from Kolste to Justin Counts and a 25-yard run by Franssen.

The Mavericks came right back and scored on an 80-yard drive early in the second quarter. A pitch-back pass from Thomas to Kyler Larsen accounted for 42 of those yards. The PAT was again wide and Oak Harbor led 14-12.

Meadowdale took the lead, 20-14, with 4:32 left in the half on a 68-yard drive. Ball had a 34-yard run and completed a pass for 18 yards to Thomas to help the drive along.

The Mavericks fumbled a punt at their own 20 late in the quarter. Three plays later Sam Wolfe scored from the 11. Franssen’s PAT failed and the teams headed to the locker room knotted at 20.

Ball finished the game with 187 yards passing by completing 11 of 19 tosses for three touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions. He also rushed for 68 yards on 19 carries.

Miller, once again, led the Oak Harbor charge. He ran for 98 yards on 10 carries, caught two passes for 22 yards, scored a touchdown, had an interception and blocked an extra-point kick.

Kolste finished five-for-13 for 35 yards and two interceptions. Matt Burgoyne was three-for-seven for 38 yards.

Meadowdale outgained Oak Harbor 419 to 258.

It was a clean game with only three penalties, all against Oak Harbor, and the first infraction didn’t come until the final minute of the third quarter. Meadowdale’s only penalty was declined.

Oak Harbor was hurt in the game by several long pass plays. Coach Jay Turner said, “We were forced to play a lot of man-to-man because we are so undersized and have to gamble.”

Turner noted it could be tough getting ready for a nonleague game next week after the let down of just missing the playoffs. He said, “But we will get them fired up. It would be nice to go out with a win.”

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