Turnover equals loss for Oak Harbor

Turnovers at inopportune times handed the Oak Harbor football team to their first loss of the season, 24-17, at Lake Stevens Friday night.

Of their four turnovers committed, two fumbles and two interceptions, none was more crucial than when Oak Harbor coughed the ball up at their own 11-yard line at the beginning of the fourth quarter. With the score knotted 10-10, the Wildcats were hoping to march down the field and retake the lead.

“We were back in the game and then we self destructed with turnovers,” head coach Dave Ward said. “If we hang on to the football, we’re in good shape.”

Four plays after the fumble, Vikings quarterback Ricky Bargreen dove into the end zone from 1-yard out, giving Lake Stevens a 17-10 lead with 7:25 left in the contest.

On the next Oak Harbor possession, senior quarterback John Lobbesteal threw his first of two interceptions on the night at the Lake Stevens 45-yard line. Five plays later the Vikings found themselves in the end zone one more time, as fullback Mike Shea lumbered his way across the goal line with 3:45 to go.

In a deep hole, 24-10, Oak Harbor didn’t give up. Starting at their own 38-yard line, Lobbesteal first completed a 13-yard pass to senior tight end Nate Metcalf, followed by a 45-yard strike to junior wide receiver Cash Parker, which brought the ball all the way down to the Lake Stevens 4-yard line. Senior fullback Blake Ward eventually pounded his way into the end zone, pulling Oak Harbor to within one touchdown with 2:28 remaining.

“I was really happy with the way we battled back,” coach Ward said.

An amped up Oak Harbor defense held the Lake Stevens offense on their next possession, forcing them to punt the ball back to Oak Harbor. On a fourth down play and under a minute remaining, Lobbesteal threw his second interception of the quarter to defensive back Josh Rojas. Although Rojas would fumble the ball back to the Wildcats with 38 seconds to go, nothing would come of it.

“It was a tough loss, but there’s some good things to take from it,” coach Ward said.

Oak Harbor took the initial lead of the game in the second quarter on a 27-yard field goal by Cash Parker. On the ensuing kickoff, the Vikings’ Mike Lasher returned the kick 88-yards, giving the lead to Lake Stevens.

Trying to answer with a score of its own, Oak Harbor committed its first of four turnovers in the second quarter, when they fumbled the ball deep in Lake Stevens’ territory.

“We jumped out to moving the ball really well, we just couldn’t finish the drive,” Ward said.

The Vikings added on to their lead in the third quarter drilling a 40-yard field goal. The Wildcats eventually tied things up after senior Kyle Issacson broke free for a 15-yard touchdown run.

Oak Harbor was able to move the ball successfully Friday, despite not being able to put it in the end zone. Lobbesteal ended the night 12-for-22 passing for 177 yards. Senior Adam Diaz had four receptions for 57 yards, while Parker had two for 56-yards. Blake Ward was the leading rusher with 51-yards on 16 carries and one touchdown.

The loss puts Oak Harbor at 2-1 overall and 1-1 in league.

The Wildcat football team did receive some good news on Friday when it was announced all their remaining home games will be played at Memorial Stadium. Fans will have to sit on portable aluminum bleachers, which will be added to the visitors’ side of the field. The old wooden bleachers will be closed except for the press box.

“I think that they’ll be real excited,” Ward said of his players. “It’s going to be nice to be at home.”

Their first official home game against Arlington kicks off at 7 p.m., this Friday, Sept. 26. The game can be heard locally on KWBB 1110 AM with the pregame show beginning around 6:30 p.m.

Key for Oak Harbor will be containing speedy wide-receiver Brenion Bodewig and the Arlington passing attack.

“It’s going to be a wide-open game,” Ward said. “We’re going to try to control the clock and keep their offense off the field as much as possible.

Lake Stevens 24, Oak Harbor 17

Lake Stevens 0 7 3 14—24

Oak Harbor 0 3 7 7—17

Oak Harbor-Parker 27-yard field goal; Lake Stevens-Lasher 88-yard kickoff return (Jongejan kick); Lake Stevens-Jongejan 40-yard field goal; Oak Harbor-Issacson 15-yard run (Parker kick); Lake Stevens-Bargreen one-yard run (Jongejan kick); Lake Stevens-Shea one-yard run (Jongejan kick).

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