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Wildcats ride Ryan Express to win | Football

Oak Harbor
Oak Harbor's Brent Ryan (36) leaves a trail of Everett defenders in his wake as he battles for a first down. Ryan rushed for 226 yards and three touchdowns in the Wildcats' 47-14 win. Teammate Austyn Walker (40) helps out with a down-field block.
— image credit: John Fisken / Whidbey News-Times

All aboard.

Oak Harbor hopped on the Ryan Express and flattened Everett 47-14 at Everett Memorial Stadium Friday, Sept. 23.

The impressive win over the previously unbeaten Seagulls pushed Oak Harbor (4-0) a half game ahead of Meadowdale (3-0, 4-0) on top of the Wesco 3A football standings.

Running through the Everett defense like a freight train, 220-pound Brent Ryan piled up 226 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries to pace a devastating ground game. And as has been the Oak Harbor M.O. all season, Ryan was joined in the offensive spotlight by running mate Josiah Miller. Miller picked up 140 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. He also caught a TD pass of 46 yards from Ian Kolste.

Both Wildcat running backs had over 100 yards – Ryan 190 and Miller 106 – by half time as Oak Harbor rolled to a 40-7 lead at the break.

In all, Oak Harbor's offensive line of Jeremy Foster, Cody Hernkind, Tucker Lundstrom, Ben Miller, Josh McVey and Dayne Herron, coached by Peter Esvelt, paved the way for 462 yards on the ground. Those stats don’t include two long touchdowns (Miller for 28 yards and Peter Franssen for 53) nullified by penalties.

Kolste attempted only four pass, none after halftime, and completed two for 92 yards. Along with the toss to Miller for a score, he hit Isaiah Trower on a 46-yard touchdown.

Oak Harbor got one break when Everett’s starting running back Blake Williams missed the game because of an injury. Williams posted 454 yards and seven scores in the first three games. Then the ‘Cats got another when Williams’ replacement Kendall Dunbar fumbled on the game’s first play.

Miller recovered the fumble, then in Oak Harbor’s initial play, he zipped in from 28 yards out to start the scoring. Miller pulled the same turnover-touch down trick in the second quarter when he intercepted a pass and followed it up by scoring on Oak Harbor’s first play after the turnover – this time on a 66-yard run.

In Oak Harbor’s second possession, it wasted a 47-yard run by Ryan when Kolste was intercepted at the goal line.

The third possession ended in a Ryan touchdown with 9:41 left in the half and started a big second quarter. Franssen missed the point-after kick, his only miscue in five tries.

Next came Miller’s interception and follow up touchdown. The PAT run was unsuccessful.

With 5:58 left in the half, it was vintage Ryan as he ran right up the gut for 50 yards and a touchdown as Seagull defenders bounced off and or piled on for a ride to the end zone.

Everett finally scored as Riley Ayers hit Garrett Wise on a 45-yard pass play.

After Ryan picked up 27 yards on three carries, Miller caught a shot pass from Kolste and turned it into a 46-yard score. That made it 33-7.

Oak Harbor recovered an onside kick and scored on the first play when Kolste connected with Trower for a 46-yard catch and run for six with 55 second left in the half.

The Wildcats finished their scoring when they went 76 yards in 12 plays in the first possession of the third quarter. Oak Harbor overcame a clipping penalty that wiped out Franssen’s long run to go up 47-7.

Everett scored late to set the final score.

The Wildcats limited Everett to 200 yards of offense with Lundstrom and Nick Farrell leading the way with six tackles each.  Lundstrom also had a sack and caused fumble, and Casey Ferguson and McVey added sacks.

Coach Jay Turner called it "our most complete game of the year."

Oak Harbor now faces winless Lynnwood Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. at Wildcat Memorial Stadium.

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