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Home, sweet home
Behind a dominate performance from their linemen, the Oak Harbor football team literally ran over Arlington, 42-13, in the first official home game of 2003.
It was a good game for the line, Im real proud of the way they came out and took control, Oak Harbor head coach Dave Ward said. We were getting yards every play, moving the chains and we kept their offense off the field.
On their 49 rushing plays, the Wildcats ran for 280 total yards and four touchdowns.
Oak Harbor wasnt shy about showing what their offensive focus was going to be early in the game. On their first offensive series, the Cats ran the ball eight straight times before junior running back Dan Raymond broke across the goal line from 1-yard out with 6:23 to go in the first quarter. Junior Cash Parker was good on the P.A.T., as he was a perfect six-of-six for the game.
After forcing Arlington three-and-out on their next possession, Oak Harbor went back to the well by running the ball. Senior fullback Blake Ward, who had three touchdowns on 79-yards Friday, broke free from the Eagle 10-yard line and leveled two Arlington defenders as he dove into the end zone.
We wanted to just bring it to them and just have some fun, Blake said.
On the ensuing kickoff Ward squib kicked the ball, trying to prevent a large return. The ball bounced off an Eagle blocker right back to Ward for the recovery at the Arlington 45. On another successful drive, Ward eventually rambled in from 1-yard out to make it 21-0 with 9:35 to go in the first half.
The ensuing kickoff buried any hopes Arlington had of winning the game. In a mirror image of the previous kickoff, Wards squib kick bounced off the heal of an Eagle blocker into the hands of Parker.
You dont see that very often and then to have two in a row is incredible, coach Ward said. It was pretty demoralizing for the other team.
The Cats eventually took their largest lead of the game, 28-0, after senior running back Kyle Issacson scored on another 1-yard run with 4:50 left in the first half. Issacson, who was filling in for injured running back Adam Diaz, ended up the leading rusher for the Cats with 88-yards on 14 attempts.
Issacson did a nice job stepping up for Adam when he went down with the injury, coach Ward said.
On the verge of taking a shutout into the locker room, the Oak Harbor defense got burned by Eagle standout wide receiver Brenton Bodewig with 49-seconds to go. The speedy wide receiver got past the Oak Harbor secondary and took it 85-yards, making the halftime score 28-7.
There arent going to be many receivers that are faster than Bodewig, coach Ward said. Hes a pretty incredible athlete.
The Arlington score, however, never really provided a threat for the Cats. Ward tacked on his third touchdown on a 6-yard run in the third quarter. Dan Raymond rounded off the Oak Harbor scoring after recovering a blocked punt in the end zone with a minute left in the third.
Arlington eventually picked up one more score late in the fourth quarter, but the Wildcat defense contained the entire game despite a couple of large pass plays.
Senior Patrick OBrien, who was key member of the offensive line, also had a huge game on the defensive side of the ball.
I love playing defense, you get to hit the guys and you dont have to get hit as much (as offense), he said.
OBrien led the team in tackles with 10, seven of which were unassisted. He also had a huge sack in the third quarter on Arlington quarterback Kenny Gunter for a loss of 24-yards.
Senior Nate Metcalf had two sacks, while senior Chris Raimundi and Ward each picked up one apiece.
Oak Harbor, now 3-1 overall and 2-1 in league, travels to Marysville-Pilchuck this Friday, Oct. 3, for their next game. The Tomahawks are 1-3 overall, but coach Ward expects them to be tough at home.
Theyre a running team, theyre big and physical and their home field is a tough place to go, he said.
The game begins at 7 p.m. at Quil Ceda Stadium and can be heard locally on KWBB 1110 AM.
Oak Harbor 42, Arlington 13
Oak Harbor 14 14 14 042
Arlington 0 7 0 613
Oak Harbor-Raymond 1-yd run (Parker kick); Oak Harbor-Ward10-yard run (Parker kick); Oak Harbor-Ward1-yard run (Parker kick); Oak Harbor-Issacson1-yd run (Parker kick); Arlington-Gunter to Bodewig 85-yard pass (Tilton kick); Oak Harbor-Ward 6-yard run (Parker kick); Oak Harbor-Raymond fumble return (Parker kick); Arlington-Putnam 1-yd run (kick failed).