Cats stay undefeated

Get Oak Harbor running back Gabe Vest near an end zone and there’s one thing on the senior’s mind: score the touchdown.

“I’ve just got to keep it going when I smell that end zone,” he said after helping Oak Harbor to a 35-20 home victory over Monroe Friday night.

Vest played a significant role in the Wildcats’ league win as he rushed for two more touchdowns, bringing his total to nine for the season.

“He wants it really bad,” OHHS head coach Dave Ward said. “Gabe runs so hard it takes more than one or two guys to bring him down.”

Vest, who is now ranked sixth in the state in points scored (54), rushed 10 times for 101 yards on Friday.

His most notable run came at the 4:06 mark of the fourth quarter when he separated the Wildcats for good.

Taking a handoff at the Monroe 32 yard line, Vest put his head down, broke through the line and shook off four tacklers in the secondary on his way to the end zone for a 35-14 lead.

Asked what was going through his mind on the play, Vest remained modest.

“I just wanted to get to 4-0 and keep it going,” he said.

It wasn’t only Vest, however, that was running all over Monroe.

The Wildcats generated 226 total yards on the ground with the help of three other runners.

Senior fullback Sean O’Brien carried the ball 12 times for 64 yards, sophomore Chris Valencia carried seven times for 49 yards and senior Cameron Kays carried six times for 42 yards.

O’Brien initially put Oak Harbor on the board with 2:33 to go in the first quarter, scoring from 2 yards out on a dive up the middle.

Vest added a 5-yard touchdown in the second quarter to give the Wildcats a 14-0 halftime lead.

Oak Harbor took an even larger advantage on their first drive of second half when junior quarterback Marshall Lobbestael connected with senior tight end Brian Wandell on an 11-yard play action pass for a touchdown.

Just minutes later Lobbestael hit Kays on a similar play action pass, this time for a 54-yard touchdown.

Kays, who had two catches for 95 yards, beat his defender on a seam route and made a finger-tip catch to break away for the score.

“That was beautiful,” Ward said. “That was one of the best high school plays I’ve seen.

Those two guys really connect, really talk to each other – they know where they are on the field.”

Monroe was unable to get any offense moving against Oak Harbor.

The Bearcats, who in their previous three games averaged 301 yards a game on the ground, rushed 41 times for just 109 yards against the Wildcats.

“These guys made me a little nervous...,” Ward said. “Monroe’s been really racking up some yards and running the ball well.”

Monroe got two of its touchdowns after Wildcat turnovers deep in their own territory. Fumbles at the OHHS 5 and 22 yard lines set up quick strikes for the Bearcats.

Oak Harbor was led by defenders

Now 3-0 in the WesCo North and 4-0 overall, Oak Harbor will face Lake Stevens (2-2) on the road this Friday, Sept. 30.

The game can be heard locally at 7 p.m. on KWDB 1110 AM.

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