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Wildcats bull way to 36-15 win | Football

JoJo Webster hauls in a PAT pass from Ian Kolste in Oak Harbor
JoJo Webster hauls in a PAT pass from Ian Kolste in Oak Harbor's win over Arlington.
— image credit: John Fisken / Whidbey News-Times

In this day and age of spread offenses and finesse football, there was nothing subtle about Oak Harbor's approach in its 36-15 nonleague win at Arlington Friday, Sept. 7.

The Wildcats (2-0) battered Arlington (0-2) for 303 rushing yards, over half those coming from Fred Webster. The 5-11, 225-pound fullback gashed into the teeth of the Eagles' defense for 162 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. Sheyenne Sams added 80 yards on seven carries as nine different Wildcats earned rushing attempts.

Quarterback Ian Kolste was an efficient 13-for-21 for 133 yards.

Defensively, the 'Cats dominated the line of scrimmage, allowing only 38 rushing yards on 15 carries. Add in four sacks, and the final yardage total equals minus one. The defense also intercepted three passes and recovered two fumbles.

Dakota Sinchak led the "D" with six tackles (one for a loss), a hurry and an interception. Jeremy Foster had five tackles and two sacks, while Tyler Adamson and Rhys Matilla added sacks. JoJo Webster and Isaiah Trower had the other interceptions.

The Wildcat defense wasn't perfect and was stung by one mistake in coverage on a play when a DB slipped. Arlington, in its second possession, scored on a 78-yard pass play in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead.

From there, Eagle QB Austin Wells completed only 3 of 12 passes for 29 yards and three picks.

After a slow start (three punts on the first three possessions), the Oak Harbor offense picked up. On the first play of the second quarter the 'Cats finished a 70-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run by Fred Webster. Mark Johnston kicked his first of four PATs, and Oak Harbor tied the game at 7.

After JoJo Webster's interception, Kolste hit Trower for 18 yards to the 3, and two plays later Fred Webster scored.

Arlington opened the second half by returning the kickoff 70 yards for a TD. A bad snap on the PAT kick turned into a two-point pass completion and the Eagles led 15-14.

Oak Harbor responded by going 80 yards in 13 plays to regain the lead, converting on two fourth downs along the way. Jon Lanningham rammed in from the 2 for the score. Kolste hit JoJo Webster for a two-point PAT, and Oak Harbor led 22-15.

Early in the fourth quarter, Sams raced in from 30 yards to make it 29-15.

Then Fred Webster, in a fitting ending to his evening, ran over two Eagle defensive backs on the way to a 20-yard touchdown with 4:08 left.

In both games this season, big second half surges carried Oak Harbor. Coach Jay Turner credits his team's work ethic when it comes to conditioning: "The kids believe in it; they work hard."

He also credited offensive coordinator Mike Fisher's adjustments at halftime for the uptick in offense as the Wildcats changed attack gaps on outside runs.

Oak Harbor faces its biggest test so far this season when it meets Lake Stevens, the preseason favorite to win the Wesco 4A North title, at Wildcat Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14.

(Note: Defensive statistics were not available when the story about Oak Harbor's win over Snohomish was written last week; therefore, Lanningham's outstanding performance was not noted. He finished with 14 tackles, three sacks and two hurries.)

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