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Oak Harbor wins double overtime thriller
When Oak Harbor lost its Homecoming game to Stanwood three weeks ago Cash Parker made a bold statement. The Wildcat senior assured victories against the leagues top two teams over the final two weeks of the regular season.
Well win them both, I guarantee it, he said after the loss. Its not even a choice anymore, thats whats going to happen.
Parker backed up his words on Friday.
The senior, who hadnt kicked an extra point or field goal all season, booted a game-winning extra point in the second overtime against Marysville-Pilchuck. His score not only provided the Wildcats a 27-26 victory, but two straight wins, a second place finish in the WesCo North and a state-qualifying game this Saturday against Bethel.
Parker, who was the starting kicker last season, was called upon after teammate Cory Fakkema had a PAT blocked in the first overtime. With swirling winds and faced with a high pressure situation head coach Dave Ward opted to go to a veteran kicker.
We needed to get it up in the air, he said. Cashs leg is a bit stronger and hes kicked all his life so we decided that was the way to go.
If it wasnt for the overtime performances of quarterback Marshall Lobbestael, wide receiver Cameron Kays and the entire offensive line, Parker may have never had a chance at late-game heroics.
With each team getting a shot to score from the opponents 25-yard line, Lobbestael and Kays made Oak Harbors first possession pay dividends. On a fourth-and-six from the 21, the duo hooked up across the middle of the end zone to go ahead, 20-14.
The Tomahawks, however, had an answer on their offensive possession.
Facing a fourth-and-12 from the 27-yard line, quarterback Gary Carrier hit running back Marquise Moses on a lob pass to the left corner of the end zone. Moses leapt a good three feet in the air over cornerback Chris Valencia to snag the touchdown reception.
A potential game-winning extra point from Kaleb Kueh was blocked by Dallas Sullivan on the ensuing play.
Rotating order of possession, Marysville got the first try to score in the second overtime and they responded. The Tomahawks drove down to the Wildcat 3-yard line on four plays before Carrier ran behind center for a score and a 26-20 lead.
Oak Harbor, however, came up big again defensively, blocking the point-after-touchdown.
The Wildcat duo of Lobbestael and Kays hooked up one more time on Oak Harbors attempt to score this time in a do-or-die situation.
On fourth-and-three from the 7-yard line, Lobbestael found Kays on a slant route at the goal line. The wide receiver snagged the ball and leaned forward, falling into the end zone for the score.
I just looked up and it was like slow motion, just like everybody says, Kays said.
The two touchdowns from Kays were his first of the year.
Just as long as our teams winning TDs dont matter, Kays said. It was nice to step up though.
Lobbestael, who went 4-for-5 for 47 yards in overtime, paid respect to the play of the offensive line.
I had great protection those last couple of drives, he said. I had a lot of time to throw.
Oak Harbor initially found itself in trouble, falling behind 14-0 in the first half. Moses, the Tomahawks star running back, scored two first half TDs while rushing 16 times for 40 yards.
In need of a spark, the Wildcats got their motivation at halftime.
We got a really good inspirational speech from the coach that just fired everybody up, senior lineman Jake Jansen said. Everybody picked it up from the first play of the second half to the last play of the game.
The play of both the defensive and offensive line in the second half dominated Marysville. Oak Harbor ran the ball 18 times for 105 yards in the second half, while holding the Tomahawks to 51 yards on 21 rushes.
Jansen and Parker led OHHS in tackles with 12 apiece. Linebacker John Umayum added 10 tackles, two for loss and one forced fumble.
The Wildcats first got on the scoreboard with 6:13 to go in the third on a 9-yard pass from Lobbestael to Sullivan. OHHS tied the game with 1:35 to go in the third on a 22-yard counter run from junior Gabe Vest.
The win completed Oak Harbors regular season record at 6-2, 6-3, placing them second in the WesCo North. Stanwoods victory over Snohomish put the Spartans in first. Marysville grabbed the third and final district spot.
This is a great feeling for a team to come this far in one season to show this much character, Ward said
The Wildcats play for a third straight trip to the state tournament at 7 p.m., this Saturday, Nov. 6 against Bethel in Graham. The Braves are ranked ninth in the states latest AP poll.
AD upset with turnout
Oak Harbor athletic director Bob Smithson was quick to note his disappointment in fan turnout at Friday nights game at Memorial Stadium.
This is one of the best high school football games Ive seen in 10 years, Smithson said. As athletic director Im ashamed that more people didnt come out for this game.
Marysville fans filled the visitor bleachers and were notably more vocal than Oak Harbor fans, especially in the overtime periods.
Oak Harbor 27, Marysville 26
Marysville 7 7 0 0 6 626
Oak Harbor 0 0 14 0 6 727
ScoringMarysville: Moses 3 yard run (Kueh kick). Marysville: Moses 1yard run (Kueh kick). Oak Harbor: Sullivan 9 yard catch (Fakkema kick). Oak Harbor: Vest 22 yard run (Fakkema kick). Oak Harbor: Kays 21 yard catch (kick blocked) Marysvlle: Moses 27 yard catch (kick blocked). Marysville: Carrier 3 yard run (kick blocked). Oak Harbor: Kays 7 yard catch (Parker kick).