Wildcats start season with big win | Football

Oak Harbor
Oak Harbor's Jeremy Foster (63) fights through the block of Mountlake Terrace's Brett Potter. Foster led the Wildcats in tackles in Oak Harbor's big win.
— image credit: John Fisken/Whidbey News-Times


The Oak Harbor football team got a measure of revenge when it mauled Mountlake Terrace 42-0 in the season and Western Conference opener Friday, Sept. 2, at Wildcat Memorial Stadium.

The Wildcats racked up 455 yards of offense while holding the Hawks to 118 in the lopsided win.

Rewind to the 2010 opener. The senior-laden Hawks, behind what coach Tony Umayan called the best offensive line in school history, buried a young Oak Harbor team 41-13, jumping to a 27-0 lead in the first 13 minutes.

Re-set to last night. The tables were turned as Oak Harbor, buoyed by a talented senior class, had little trouble with a Mountlake Terrace team that fielded only five seniors.

Josiah Miller did a little of everything – make that a lot of everything – for Oak Harbor. The senior rushed 13 times for 157 yards and two scores, caught two passes for 39 yards and a touchdown, returned two punts for 38 yards, returned one kickoff for 20 yards and booted the Wildcats’ only punt for 37 yards.

While the speedy Miller, at 5-9, 165 pounds, attacked the outside of the Terrace defense, Brent Ryan, 6-0, 220, ran for 124 yards on 14 carries between the tackles.

Oak Harbor finished with 416 yards rushing, and Ian Kolste completed two of seven passes for 39 yards.

Seven different Wildcats carried the ball, and Oak Harbor got big runs from Peter Franssen (24 yards), Isaiah Trower (18) and Julian Faralan (24).

Oak Harbor entered the game knowing it had to stop the Hawks’ vaunted rushing attack, led by 6-2, 220-pound tailback DeVante Downs. Downs was a second-team, all-Wesco selection last year as a freshman.

Wildcat coach Jay Turner said Downs “was our focus,” and Oak Harbor was right on target. The ‘Cats limited Downs to 59 yards on 18 carries; 31 yards came on one play. Eleven times Oak Harbor held him to two or fewer yards on a rush. The ‘Cats also forced him to fumble twice.

With Oak Harbor shutting down the running game, Mountlake Terrace was forced to pass. Junior quarterback Beau Kennedy completed only four of 14 for 31 yards.

In the game’s first possession, Downs fumbled at his own 30 and Oak Harbor took over. Ryan carried three times for 16 yards, then Miller scored from the 14 on his first touch of the season. Franssen kicked the first of six PATs.

Downs fumbled again, but Oak Harbor turned the ball over on downs at the Terrace 25 and the quarter ended 7-0.

An interception and fumble stopped the next two Oak Harbor drives.

With 6:32 left in the half, Oak Harbor went 55 yards in just over two minutes and scored when Kolste hit Miller from 23 yards out.

Oak Harbor held again and took over at its own 16 with only 1:20 left. The Wildcats needed just a few seconds and one play to score. Miller raced around the left end and up the home sideline for an 83-yard TD to put Oak Harbor up 21-0 at the half.

The game’s oddest play came midway through the third period when Miller muffed a Hawk punt. Several players jumped on the loose ball, but it squirted away until Trower picked it up and zigged his way 48 yards for the score.

Late in the period and starting from its own eight-yard line, Oak Harbor drove for another score behind two big plays. Ryan picked up 53 yards on one run, then Franssen covered the final 24.

Oak Harbor finished the scoring when Jack Richter ran seven yards with 6:06 left.

Turner liked the play of Cody Hernkind and Nick Ferrell. He said, “Cody is our unsung hero. He is a lineman and doesn’t get a lot of accolades.”

Hernkind collected five tackles (four for losses), a sack, a QB hurry, and two fumbles, and caused one fumble.

Ferrell had five tackles and an interception.

Jeremy Foster led the defense with seven tackles, Troy Studervant had six tackles and Justin Everett had six tackles and caused a fumble.

Turner said there were many positives in the game but added, “There are things that we have to work on, things to clean up. There were too many turnovers, missed blocks and missed assignments.”

He added, “It was the first game, and you have those types of things.”

Next up is Glacier Peak at Snohomish High School Friday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. in one of the key games in the early Wesco season. The Grizzlies are the defending league champions and were picked in the coaches’ poll to place second this fall. Meadowdale was the top choice and Oak Harbor was tabbed for third (and Mountlake Terrace sixth) in the nine-team league.

Glacier Peak graduated a load of talent, but as Turner said, they “just re-stock.” He said the Grizzlies had the best JV and freshman teams last year: “They have a lot of kids in the pipeline.”

Glacier Peak defeated Lynnwood 52-14 last Friday.

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