'Cats' league season ends in a romp

It may have been icy cold outside Friday night but the Oak Harbor offense was hotter than five-alarm chili. The Wildcats blistered Monroe for ten touchdowns and steamrolled the Bearcats 69-7 in their final WesCo North game of the 2002 season.

With just a non-league game against KingCo’s Juanita remaining and a playoff berth already clinched, the Cats had the luxury of using their final league affair as a tune-up for post season and a chance to send the seniors out in style.

Coming in it was all but certain to be a blowout. The young, inexperienced and thin Bearcats were 0-7 and had scored just six touchdowns. It was the type of game that can present problems in keeping a team focused. Not so for the Wildcats. “We wanted the kids to play hard and they did. You can’t go out, not compete hard and expect to just turn it back on for the playoffs,” coach Dave Ward cautioned.

On the Wildcats’ opening series the offense was sluggish and faced a fourth and 19 situation. Senior punter Grant Bull took off around the right side and 51 yards later found himself in the end zone. Senior kicker Chad Asmus nailed the point after for a quick 7-0 lead.

The fake was not a called play. “Grant has the green light to run out of punt formation. They were coming hard for the block and he went for it. He did it against Arlington earlier in the season,” said Ward.

Just over a minute later the Cats made it 14-0 as senior quarterback Lenny Serfling threw the first of his four touchdown passes, this one a short pass to fullback Blake Ward that ended up being a 52-yard score.

The rout was on. Bull made it 21-0 on the Wildcats’ next possession as he went 58 yards on an end-around play before Serfling got his second TD pass, this one from a yard out to yet another senior, John Jansen, for a 28-0 advantage with 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Out came the seniors as the second quarter belonged largely to the underclassmen, backups and JV players. Adam Diaz boosted the lead to 35-0 as he rumbled for 16 yards to paydirt with 9:48 remaining in the second quarter.

Monroe got on the board with a sustained drive that saw Tim Schubert go the final two yards to cap it off. The lead remained at 35-7 going into halftime.

Junior speedster Drew Jenkins got the crowd on their feet as he took the second half kickoff, ran to his right, backtracked from three defenders, spun and reversed field, going 78 yards for a 42-7 Wildcat lead.

On the ensuing Monroe possession Bull’s interception set up the Wildcats at the Bearcat 40. Serfling hit a wide-open Cody Parker near the 10 but Parker lost his balance and fell at the three yard line. On first and goal Parker bulled in to make it 49-0.

The defense forced another Monroe punt and on first down Serfling and Bull hooked up for a 40 yard touchdown. Bull had his third touchdown in as many touches on offense. Asmus missed the PAT for a 56-7 score.

Again the defense forced the Bearcats into a three-and-out. On first down following the kick Serfling hit Diaz for a 25-yard TD. Oak Harbor had their 34th point in seven minutes and had run just five plays from scrimmage since intermission.

The starters took their seats for a scoreless fourth quarter. “We didn’t want to run it up or embarrass anyone,” Ward said. Serfling, who completed six of his eight passes for 178 yards, set a school record for touchdown passes in a game and the 7-1 Wildcats looked to be ready for the playoffs.

“We got to play a lot of kids,” Ward commented. “We had 12 running backs carry the ball with nobody getting more than five carries. It was good for our young guys to get some varsity competition and experience.”

Oak Harbor has clinched a share of the division championship. Should Snohomish and Lake Stevens win their final league games this week the North will have a three-way tie for the top spot.

Coin toss puts Cats at No. 3

In the likely event of a three-way tie at the top of the Wesco North football division, Oak Harbor will be the number three team when it comes to deciding playoff pairings.

A coin toss was held Tuesday among the three teams with only one loss: Oak Harbor, Snohomish and Lake Stevens. When the coin quit spinning, Snohomish came out as the number one team, Lake Stevens number two and Oak Harbor number three. It wasn’t the best outcome for Oak Harbor. “We didn’t win,” noted Jeff Stone, athletic director.

As a result, Oak Harbor will play the number one team from the South division in the Wesco Conference’s season-ending showdown Tuesday, Nov. 12. That will likely be Kamiak which is 7-1 on the season entering its final game Nov. 7 against Everett, which is 2-6.

As a result of the Tuesday coin toss, Oak Harbor won’t be hosting a playoff game as earlier anticipated. Unless, of course, the standings change in the final game. Oak Harbor plays a meaningless non-league game at Juanita Thursday. Snohomish hosts Marysville/Pilchuck (2-5), while Lake Stevens plays at Stanwood (2-5). If either Snohomish or Lake Stevens loses, it will change the Wesco North seeding.

Barring an upset in the final game, Oak Harbor will play Kamiak at Mariner High School’s Goddard Stadium on Nov. 12 in the Wesco crossover. The winner will advance to the state tournament as one of the three seeds from Wesco.

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