'Cats defeat Tomahawks

Oak Harbor High School traveled to Marysville Friday evening and opened defense of its class 4A state football championship with a 37-27 victory over the Tomahawks in a WesCo North League game.

The Wildcats’ new starting quarterback Johnny Encinas left no doubt in his ability as a field general, passing for 122 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for an additional 71 yards and another score.

“Johnny threw the ball pretty well most of the night and had a good all-around game at quarterback leading the offense,” head coach Dave Ward said.

The Wildcats never trailed in the game and held a 20-12 halftime lead when Encinas rambled 62-yards for a score late in the second quarter.

“We were able to make some big plays on offense,” Ward said.

Encinas also hit Rodrick Rumble on a scoring pass covering 37-yards and hooked up with Chris Valencia from 14 yards out.

Michael Bell was the third receiver to score, catching a 5-yard strike in the third quarter.

“The game was pretty much over after three quarters when Michael Bell caught that third touchdown pass,” Ward said. “He made a nice catch in the back of the end zone and just got his foot down. That made the score 37-20 and after that, we began putting in our substitute players.”

Jordan Young also scored a touchdown for Oak Harbor on a 15-yard run.

Rumble had five catches for 46 yards and Valencia rushed for 104 yards on 12 carries.

“Chris had a good game running the ball. The line blocked well and protected Johnny at quarterback,” Ward said. “I was pretty happy with the line, but I know we can block and tackle a little better. You have to realize that this was the first game of the season and that you have to keep working on the fundamentals.”

Oak Harbor christens the new Wildcats Memorial Stadium Friday, Sept. 7, hosting Arlington, a 20-6 loser to Wenatchee in its season opener.

“Arlington has some good team speed, especially at quarterback,” Ward said. “They like to roll out and sprint out with him and we are going to have to contain him with our defensive ends and linebackers. He is a better runner than a passer.”

In addition, Ward said they have a big player at the tight end position.

“He is about six-foot-three, 220 pounds. He’s a real load and they will try to dump the ball out to him,” Ward said. “They will throw a lot of short passes and they also like to spread the formation out and then run screen passes and bootlegs.”

Kickoff against the Eagles is set for 7 p.m. Pregame ceremonies to inaugurate the new stadium begin at 5:45 p.m.

WesCo North scores Aug. 31

Oak Harbor 37, Marysville-Pilchuck 27

Snohomish 27, Cascade 14

Wenatchee 20, Arlington 6

Everett 14, Monroe 3

Lake Stevens 41, Stanwood 14

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