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Oak Harbor squeaks by Meadowdale
The Oak Harbor High School football team saved the best for the last quarter in Fridays non-league game at Meadowdale.
After a scoreless first half, Meadowdales Connor Nelson booted field goals of 36 and 32 yards in the third quarter good for a 6-0 lead heading into the final 12 minutes of play.
In the fourth quarter, quarterback Johnny Encinas got the Wildcats on the scoreboard, hooking up with Stephen Lewis on a 12-yard strike. Mike Johnstons kick gave Oak Harbor its first lead, 7-6.
We were excited that we finally started playing some offense in the fourth quarter and quit making mistakes, coach Dave Ward said. We were a little flat to start with, but we had a good halftime and made some adjustments. The defense was solid the whole game and really kept us in it and gave us a chance once the offense clicked.
Meadowdale (1-2), came right back when Nelson connected on his third field goal for a 9-7 lead and things were looking bad for Washingtons fifth-ranked class 4A Wildcats (3-0), as time wound down.
However, a clutch reception by senior wide receiver Michael Bell on a drive in the final two minutes of the game gave the Wildcats hope, and Encinas scored the game-winning touchdown on a 15-yard run with one minute remaining on the clock giving Oak Harbor a come-from-behind 14-9 victory.
When we got a hurry up mode on offense we started to get into our rhythm and that was nice to see, Ward said. Mike made a nice catch on a fade pattern. He went up over their cornerback and Johnny put the ball up high for him and he was able to haul it in. It was a key play on that drive. We used the sideline well on that last drive. Johnny hit Steve Lewis on a wheel route and then he hit Rodrick Rumble on a nice out route and he was able to get out of bounds. We killed the clock so we had a chance.
Encinas was 21-for-34 in passing for 224 yards and a touchdown. He has passed for nine touchdowns in three games this season and rushed for two more.
The Wildcats have a big game Friday night at arch-rival Snohomish that beat Arlington 29-25 last Friday.
Arlington stayed with them and they had a chance to score in the fourth quarter, but then they turned the ball over, Ward said. I think thats going to be the key for us, play within ourselves and not turn the ball over. Snohomish has pretty good and they have some physical kids. I think we just have to play hard and not spot them any kind of a lead at the beginning, and we should be okay.
Kickoff in Snohomish is set for 7 p.m.
WesCo North scores Sept. 14
Oak Harbor 14, Meadowdale 9
Lake Stevens 34, Monroe 14
Marysville-Pilchuck 31, Everett 13
Cascade 28, Stanwood 7
Snohomish 29, Arlington 25