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'Cats rip Everett; face early showdown | Football
Though it will be only its second league game, Oak Harbor's football contest with Stanwood at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at Wildcat Memorial Stadium is likely to have a huge impact on playoff scenarios.
The Wildcats opened conference play Friday, Sept. 27, by breezing by host Everett 49-16. Through three nonleague games and one Wesco contest, it appears Oak Harbor (1-0, 3-1), Stanwood (1-0, 2-2) and third-ranked Marysville-Pilchuck (0-0, 4-0) are the three teams in line to battle for the North title. The top two teams in the final standings earn automatic berths into the playoffs; the third-place team will have to win a play-in game to secure a spot.
When the season opened, preseason polls indicated Marysville Getchell (0-1, 2-2) would be one of the North's best teams. Stanwood staked its claim as a contender by thumping the Chargers 35-7 Friday.
The showdown between Oak Harbor and Stanwood will pit the Wildcats' ground game against the Spartans' passing attack.
Oak Harbor's Dejon Devroe (530 yards on 60 carries), Julian Faralan (380/67) and Sheyenne Sams (318/43) are all in the top five in rushing in the Wesco 3A North.
Stanwood's Drew Wright leads the division in passing with over 600 yards, nearly 200 more than the second-place passer.
Oak Harbor coach Jay Turner said Stanwood looks good on film, adding "they are big and physical."
Oak Harbor started slowly in several games this fall, but not Friday at Everett.
Turner said his staff emphasized all week that the Wildcats needed to avoid a sluggish start like at Lake Stevens the previous week. Message received.
Oak Harbor bolted to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and led 49-0 at halftime, setting the mercy rule (a 45-point lead) in motion; the second half was played with a running clock.
In the first half, Oak Harbor never punted and Everett failed to record a first down.
Turner pulled his first-team defense with two minutes left in the first quarter and his starting offense early in the second period.
A 24-yard run by Faralan set up Oak Harbor's first score, a 4-yard run by Gage Eccleston. Mark Johnston kicked the first of seven PATs.
Devroe bolted 48-yards for the next TD.
Johnston recorded the first of two defensive touchdowns when he scooped up a botched snap and went 20 yards for six points.
Sams' 9-yard run capped the first-quarter onslaught.
Quarterback Clay Doughty, who hit all four of his passes for 62 yards, threw 16-yards to Devroe for the first points of the second quarter.
Eccleston returned the interception of a screen pass 29 yards for the next TD, then Carlton Johnson scooted 10 yards for the final touchdown.
Both of Everett scores game in the fourth quarter.
Twelve different Wildcats carried the ball in the game; Devroe led the way with 69 yards on only four carries.
Doughty's passes went to four different receivers, with Rhys Mattila grabbing the longest for 26 yards.
Turner said Doughty "looked sharp" and "made some fine reads."
Though the starting defense played little, Turner said the effort of the front four of Tyler Adamson, Jackson Constant, Mattila and Johnston stood out.