Wildcat win sets up showdown with Mavs | Football
By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News Times Sports editor
October 22, 2011 · Updated 9:08 AM
If the Oak Harbor High School football coaching staff was worried that its players would look past this week’s opponent, Marysville Getchell, to the showdown with undefeated Meadowdale next week, they were mistaken.
The Wildcats defused the winless Chargers 69-0 in front of a large homecoming crowd Friday, Oct. 21, at Wildcat Memorial Stadium.
Now they can focus on Meadowdale.
Oak Harbor and Meadowdale face off next Thursday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium in the final regular season game which will decide the Western Conference 3A championship.
Both teams are 8-0 and ranked. Meadowdale sits fifth in the Associated Press top-10 poll and Oak Harbor seventh.
The success of the Mavericks is no surprise. They were heavy favorites to win Wesco this fall as they returned most of their starters from a strong 2010 team. Oak Harbor was picked to finish third in the preseason coaches’ poll.
The game will pit the league’s best defense against its best offense.
Meadowdale gives up only eight points per game while the Wildcats average nearly 51.
Oak Harbor coach Jay Turner said the Maverick D is “big, fast and physical.”
He added, “It’s as good a defensive team as I have seen in our league.”
The Meadowdale offense isn’t shabby either, averaging 37 points per game, third best in Wesco.
Turner said, “They are a running team; they don’t throw a lot; they are similar to us.”
Oak Harbor, however, isn’t just an offense juggernaut. The Wildcats boast the league’s second-best defense, allowing 17.8 points per game.
Meadowdale has yielded only 63 points this season, a total Oak Harbor has eclipsed twice this season in a single game, including Friday’s dismantling of Marysville Getchell.
The 69-point effort is thought to be a school single-game record, though no one could say for certain. What is certain is that running back Josiah Miller set a single-season touchdown mark in the game. He scored four more touchdowns on only five carries to reach 25 TD’s for the year, breaking Blake Ward’s standard of 23 set in 2003.
Miller, who scored on runs of 70, 10 and 5 yards and on a 7-yard reception, said, “I wish I could have done it with longer runs.” Charger turnovers gave Oak Harbor great field position and Miller few chances for long runs.
He added, “With at least two more games, hopefully I will get a few more. There are a lot of good running backs coming up; I’ve seen those guys down in youth league.”
The only thing that could slow down the Oak Harbor rushing attack against Getchell was the scoreboard. Because the game was so lopsided, Miller’s carries were limited (he finished with 90 yards rushing), as were those of running mate Brent Ryan. The two backs average over 100 yard a game, but sat much of the contest. Ryan collected 40 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
While the starters sat, the reserves continued the onslaught. Thirteen different Wildcats had rushing attempts and Oak Harbor finished with 386 yards. Isaiah Trower earned 96 yards on four carries, including a 75-yard touchdown. The ‘Cats got big runs and touchdowns from Julian Faralan and Sheyenne Sams and averaged over 10 yards per carry.
Oak Harbor threw only three passes; Ian Kolste completed two for 13 yards, including a touchdown and an interception.
The Oak Harbor defense was equally as impressive. The Chargers finished with a minus 31 yards rushing on 23 carries and 67 yards passing, going 8-for-22 with three interceptions.
They didn’t earn positive yards until their seventh offensive play (a four-yard reception) and did not have a positive rushing attempt until their 19th play. Starting running back Cullen Zackuse finished with three yards on 14 attempts and lost yardage on his first six carries. Against the starting OH defense, he ran nine times for a minus 19 yards.
Oak Harbor led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and 49-0 at the half. The second half was played with a running clock per the state’s mercy rule (when a team leads by 45 points in the second half).
Charger turnovers helped the Wildcat cause. A fumble at the 21 set up Oak Harbor’s first score. An interception at the Getchell 10 by Casey Ferguson led to another, and Mike Washington’s 25-yard return to the one on another pick resulted in an easy six. Logan Faught returned an interception 20 yards for the game’s final points.
Peter Franssen converted nine of 10 PAT kicks.
He also hit a 35-yard field goal after the game in the Papa Murphy fundraising raffle and won $500 for Brad Tesch.
(Directions to Edmonds Stadium: Go south on I-5 and take exit 179 (220th St. SW) in south Lynnwood. Go right on 220th, then right on 76th. The stadium will be several blocks down on the left.)Contact Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jim Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5060.