Sports

Wildcats rout Spartans 45-7 (full story)

Oak Harbor High School got off to a bit of a shaky start in Friday night’s WesCo football game at Stanwood.

But like true survivors the Wildcats overcame 30 yards in penalties and a fumbled punt in the first quarter to put 14 points on the scoreboard, and rolled over the Spartans 45-7.

Homecoming was not a pleasant experience for the Stanwood players and fans as Oak Harbor dominated the action on both sides of the line of scrimmage and even a lengthy fireworks display at halftime didn’t help the Spartans’ cause.

The powerful Wildcats offensive unit was able to run and pass the ball almost at will the entire game, and the defense played lights out and shut Stanwood down.

“The offense was pretty consistent all night and the defense really stuffed them in the first half,” head coach Dave Ward said. “It was nice to come down here, play well and take care of them right away.”

The first quarter could have been disastrous had it not been for senior running back Chris Valencia who gained 70 of his game-high 122 yards in the first 12 minutes of action.

Valencia’s production included runs of 29 and 23 yards during the Wildcats’ first possession and he had a 13-yard run for a touchdown at the 5:40 mark called back on a holding penalty.

On the very next play quarterback Johnny Encinas connected the first of his four touchdown passes, hitting tight end Jake Rouser from 20 yards out for a 7-0 lead.

Rouser caught just two passes

in the game but they both resulted in Oak Harbor touchdowns. His second reception came at the 4:28 mark of the third quarter to put the Wildcats ahead 31-7.

“I don’t know what to say, the last time everyone laughed at me and told me I’m not allowed to do interviews anymore,” the senior said with a big smile. “All I can say was it was awesome and I didn’t black out this time.”

Donovan Hunt scored Oak Harbor’s second touchdown of the first quarter on a 3-yard run with 1:03 left on the clock.

The sophomore running back rushed for 38 yards on four carries and caught a pair of Encinas’ shovel passes for an additional 44 yards.

But it was the Wildcats’ defensive unit that really stood out.

“We worked a lot in practice on like progression and stuff because in the past we had a lot of trouble with their linemen,” senior defensive end Tyler Elliot said.

“I think they are a pretty good team and they played hard,” nose guard Jake Ford added. “They threw a few tricks at us and it was pretty hard getting through them, but we did it.”

Kevin Flavin put the only points on the board in the second quarter nailing a 30-yard field goal with 2:23 remaining until halftime to give Oak Harbor a 17-0 lead at the break.

“It was fun, we got out there and showed them what we’ve got,” defensive end Jeremy Pallerine said.

The Wildcats opened the third quarter on a 45-yard Encinas to Rodrick Rumble touchdown pass to push the lead to 24-0.

Rumble led all receivers with 3 catches for 119 yards, and rushed for an additional 25 yards.

Stanwood finally scored its lone touchdown at the 7:05 mark of the third quarter on a 15-yard run by C.J Tolbert.

Valencia kept things rolling for the Wildcats scoring on the first

play of the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run, and Michael Bell put

a cap on the game hauling in a 14-yard TD pass with 8:06 remaining.

Bell has now caught at least one touchdown pass in every game this season.

“We just keep working hard and playing hard,” he said.

Oak Harbor had a balanced attack putting up 569 yards in total offense and recorded 20 first downs.

“Johnny was on and we dropped a couple of passes we should have caught, but we got that corrected in the second half,” Ward said.

The victory keeps Oak Harbor undefeated at 5-0 and in first place in the WesCo North and 6-0 overall, and sets up Friday’s homecoming showdown against Lake Stevens.

Ward said the Lake Stevens offense looks explosive.

“They have a quarterback who likes to run and throw,” he said. “They seem to be real effective some drives and on other drives they shoot themselves.”

Lake Stevens also has a lot of speed on the team and Ward said the Wildcats are looking forward to the challenge.

“The kind of offense they have

you can never relax as they have a lot of players who can burn you,” he said. “It’s going to be a week of real focus for us and get ready for the intensity. We hope that the homecoming week helps us emotionally, but we don’t really need too much more emotion to get ready for Lake Stevens after what they did to us last year.”

In 2006, Oak Harbor’s only loss was a 24-21 defeat by the Vikings.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Wildcat Memorial Stadium.

Oak Harbor 45, Stanwood 7

First quarter

OH — Jake Rouser 20 pass from Johnny Encinas (Mike Johnston kick) 5:33

OH — Donovan Hunt 3 run (Johnston kick) 1:03

Second quarter

OH — Kevin Flavin 30 FG 2:32

Third quarter

OH — Rodrick Rumble 45 pass from Encinas (Johnston kick) 10:59

S — C.J. Tolbert 15 run (Carl Pilcher kick) 7:05

OH — Jake Rouser 25 pass from Encinas (Johnston kick) 4:28

Fourth quarter

OH — Chris Valencia 2 run (John

ston kick) 11:56

OH — Michael Bell 14 pass from Encinas (Johnston kick) 8:06

Game stats Oak Harbor Stanwood

First downs 20 11

Rushes-yards 28-288 28-136

Passing yards 281 52

Comp-Att 12-23-1 4 5-7-0

Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0

Penalties-yards 8-61 3-25

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Oak Harbor: Chris Valencia 13-122, Stephen Lewis 2-49, Donovan Hunt 4-38, Rodrick Rumble 1-25, Brad Farnum 3-20, Jake Rouser 1-14, Andy Haag 1-7, Jim Kopke 1-6, Johnny Encinas 1-5, Ricardo Hernandez 1-2. Stanwood: C.J. Tolbert 15-97, Ryan Norman 10-35, Ben Zipp 4-15, Waylan Kelly 4-9, Ben Ulrich 1-2, Michael Shroyer 5-minus 15, Morgan Hilley 2-minus 4, Michael Vaughn 1-minus 3.

PASSING — Oak Harbor: Encinas 12-23-1 4 281. Stanwood: Shroyer 4-6-0 43, Michael McCune 1-1-0 9.

RECEIVING — Oak Harbor: Rumble 3-119, Rouser 3-66, Michael Bell 5-52, Hunt 2-44. Stanwood: Steven Williams 1-36, Zach Johnson 1-11, Hilley 1-9, Kelly 1-minus 2, Tolbert 1-minus 2.

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