Wildcats end with loss

"The Oak Harbor football team's final game of the season played out the same way a lot of their games went this year, with turnovers and mistakes costing the Cats a winnable game, as Oak Harbor fell to Kamiak at home Thursday, 24-14. But the play of younger players against a tough Kamiak team gives head coach Dave Ward confidence and a sense of optimism for next season. We were a young team this year, said Ward. And we were in every game. Despite the fact that the Cats only lost by two scores, Kamiak (7-1, 8-1) dominated in yardage, as the Cats (2-6, 2-7) could only gain a total 160 yards total offense to 270 by the Knights. Kamiak's defense came to play and defend against the run, keeping Oak Harbor running back Tony Hall to just 16 yards.The Wildcats started out in the right frame of mind and looked like they would challenge the third ranked team in the Western Conference. After Kamiak took the lead with a 30 yard field goal, an undeterred Cats' offense took the ball down the field and scored on a 33 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tom McMickle to Hall.It was a big play on a screen pass that gave us the lead, said Ward. The offense did not stay as stellar though, as three pass interceptions by the Knights, two of which came at the end of key drives by Oak Harbor, took the roar out of the Cats.Oak Harbor headed into half time only down 11-8, but the Knights pulled away from The Wildcats as they opened the second half with their second touchdown of the game and never looked back. Ward noted that despite the interceptions, McMickle ran the ball well in his last game as a Wildcat. Other seniors that had a great final game were middle linebacker Brent Lang, who had some big hits, and guard Nick Chaplin, who played extremely well. We had a chance, said Ward. But we turned the ball over too many times.Interceptions also came the Cats' way, as Adam Diaz picked off two passes for Oak Harbor. The freshman also had a couple of big key hits during the game, according to Ward.Sophomore quarterback Lenny Serfling also showed why there is hope for next year as he connected on a 10 yard strike for a touchdown in the fourth quarter with four minutes left in the game. Next year we will have a larger senior class with more experience, said Ward. It is always nice to return players that have experience.In the fourth quarter Ward decided to put more juniors and underclassmen into the lineup and they were able to hold their own and stop the Knights from running up the score.When we had our juniors together they competed well this year, said Ward. The Wildcat coach foresees some changes for next year. He wants to see more players in the weight room and playing other sports during the off season than what he had with this years' team.I think there is a lot of enthusiasm for next year in our junior, sophomore and freshman classes, said Ward. We were just a young team and it will be easier next year with more experience. "

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