’Cats stun Panthers

Players and fans leaving Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish after Friday night’s WesCo North showdown football game were shocked.

Prior to the start of the game, the Snohomish Panthers appeared to have everything going their way.

They were undefeated and on top of the league, it was alumni night, the stands were packed with thousands of loyal fans, and the University of Washington marching band and cheerleaders were performing at halftime.

The only problem was their opponents were the undefeated Oak Harbor Wildcats and the Panthers failed to bring their A game.

The result was a stunning 38-10 blowout victory for Oak Harbor.

“It was a fun night,” Oak Harbor coach Dave Ward said. “We didn’t have a lot of big scoring plays, but we had consistent plays to get into the end zone.”

Oak Harbor scored the first touchdown at the 3:20 mark of the opening quarter on a 15-yard Chris Valencia run, but Snohomish tied the score with 1:36 on the clock when Derek Jones ripped off a 56-yard dash.

A 35-yard field goal by Dayton Wiseman at the 4:06 mark of the second quarter gave the Panthers their only lead, and that turned out to be the final points Snohomish would score.

Wildcat quarterback Johnny Encinas hit Michael Bell with a 20-yard scoring strike with 1:59 remaining until halftime, and Kevin Flavin gave the Wildcats a 17-10 lead at the break, nailing a 34-yard field goal with no time showing on the clock.

“It was awesome. We came out and knew they were going to stack the run so we were going to throw the ball,” Encinas said.

The senior quarterback was 17-for-19 in passing for 205 yards and three touchdowns.

Oak Harbor scored on its first possession of the third quarter on a 5-yard Encinas to Bell pass to make the score 24-10, and that touchdown took the Panthers’ crowd right out of the game.

“This was like a playoff game for us,” Bell said. “I wanted to help the team and me and Johnny were getting the passes together.”

Bell led the Wildcats in receiving with 8 catches good for 71 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Senior tight end Jake Rouser caught a pair of passes for 62 yards, including a 41-yard grab that set up Oak Harbor’s third quarter touchdown.

“I just blacked out on that one, it was awesome,” he said. “I loved it, that’s all I can say. I loved it.”

Ward said the third quarter was huge for the Wildcats.

“We had a lot of confidence coming in on offense and we had our best offensive game of the season because it was so balanced,” he said. “Our defense started gang tackling and they ended up putting the ball on the ground.”

Snohomish fumbled the ball three times in the second half and the Wildcats recovered all three bobbles.

Oak Harbor put the game out of reach at the 10:39 mark of the fourth quarter on a 7-yard run by Donovan Hunt and added a final touchdown on a 15-yard Encinas to Rodrick Rumble pass with 2:41 remaining in the game.

The victory ups Oak Harbor’s record to 3-0 in league games and 4-0 overall, and puts the Wildcats in first place in the WesCo North.

Oak Harbor returns home to Wildcat Memorial Stadium Friday night to play Everett.

“They like to spread the field and throw the football, which is a big difference from what Snohomish did,” Ward said. “They were basically a run-oriented team. Sometimes Everett throws the ball real well and other times the ball goes all over the place so we’ll see what happens.”

Everett also uses a different defensive set than what Oak Harbor has seen in previous games.

“As a result, we are going to have to change our blocking assignments a little,” Ward said.

Kickoff against the Seagulls is set for 7 p.m. as the Wildcats host their second game in their new stadium.

Oak Harbor 38, Snohomish 10

First quarter

OH — Chris Valencia 15 run (Matt Johnston kick) 3:20

S — Derek Jones 56 run (Dayton Wiesman kick) 1:36

Second quarter

S — Weisman 35 FG 4:06

OH — Michael Bell 20 pass from Johnny Encinas (Johnston kick) 1:59

OH — Kevin Flavin 34 FG :00

Third quarter

OH — Bell 5 pass from Encinas (Johnston kick) 9:12

Fourth quarter

OH — Donovan Hunt 7 run (Johnston kick) 10:39

OH — Rodrick Rumble 15 pass from Encinas (Johnston kick) 2:41

Game stats Oak Harbor Snohomish

First downs 18 13

Rushes-yards 38-217 40-261

Passing yards 205 15

Comp-Att 17-19-0 3 2-8-0

Fumbles-lost 1-0 4-3

Penalties-yards 4-20 3-42


RUSHING —Oak Harbor: Donovan Hunt 11-89, Chris Valencia 15-88, Greg Goebel 1-17, Stephen Lewis 3-15, Johnny Encinas 4-3, Brad Farnum 1-2, Clarence LaMont 1-minus 1, Jack O’Neil 1-minus 1 Ricardo Hernandez 1-minus 3. Snohomish: Derek Jones 19-163, Miles Semanskee 11-66, Brad Perry 8-32, Robert Kok 1-2, Terrance Marshall 1-minus 2.

PASSING — Oak Harbor: Encinas 17-19-0 3. Snohomish: Perry 2-7-0, Marshall 0-1-0.

RECEIVING — Oak Harbor: Michael Bell 8-71, Rodrick Rumble 5-63, Jake Rouser 2-62, Jordan Young 1-6, Valencia 1-3. Snohomish: Marshall 1-11, Jones 1-4.

WesCo North scores Sept. 21

Oak Harbor 38, Snohomish 10

Lake Stevens 28, Cascade 19

Marysville-Pilchuck 27, Stanwood 9

Cascade 28, Stanwood 7

Kamiak 30, Monroe 0

Arlington 27, Everett 21 OT

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