Kamiak opened the first party favor, then Oak Harbor took over the celebration.
After all the confetti was swept up and the lights turned out, the Oak Harbor High School football team had danced Kamiak out of Wildcat Memorial Stadium 48-14 Friday, Sept. 8.
Now Oak Harbor turns its attention to Western Conference play when it travels to Stanwood to meet the Spartans in the Wesco North opener Friday, Sept. 15. Stanwood lost 49-0 to Lake Stevens and 34-14 to Lake Washington this season.
The Wildcats’ next home game is Friday, Sept. 29, against defending champion Squalicum. The Storm (2-0) — and this is not a typo — defeated South Delta, B.C., 85-70 last night. The teams combined for 1,567 yards of offense, with Squalicum’s Triston Smith rushing for 445 yards and six touchdowns and quarterback Spencer Lloyd recording 382 yards of total offense. South Delta QB Michael Calvert threw for 654 yards and seven touchdowns.
Oak Harbor 48, Kamiak 14
The Wildcats stacked up 417 yards of offense (331 rushing) to the Knights’ 190. The Oak Harbor defense was particularly tough in the second half, yielding only 9 yards. Kamiak registered a minus 11 yards against the Oak Harbor starting defense in the third quarter; the Wildcat reserves played the fourth.
The defense’s biggest play came late in the first quarter when Kyle Nickols jumped a route for a 61-yard pick-six, helping Oak Harbor go up 14-7 and giving the Wildcats’ momentum a boost.
Nickols also had an 18-yard touchdown reception on a halfback pass from offensive star TJ Hollins-Passmore. Hollins-Passmore averaged over 16 yards a carry by rushing for 116 yards and two touchdowns on only seven tries.
Taeson Hardin rushed for 102 yards on just five carries, including a 47-yard TD romp.
Jordan Bell completed three of five passes for 68 yards.
The beginning of the game was about the only low-light for the Wildcats.
Oak Harbor fumbled on the second play of the game and the Knights recovered. Kamiak went 53 yards in seven plays to open the scoring. Not much went right for the Knights after that as the Wildcats bounced right back.
“I like how the kids responded to the adversity,” Oak Harbor coach Jay Turner said. “We didn’t have a lot of adversity last week; the kids showed a lot of character tonight.”
Oak Harbor tied the game with an eight-play, 72-yard drive. The drive was highlighted by two plays by Hollins-Passmore. First, he ripped off a 29-yard run, then he made a 22-yard diving catch at the 1-yard line, setting up Mac Nuanez’s touchdown. Bell began his busy night kicking PATs, hitting his first of six, to tie the score.
Next came Nickols’ interception to give Oak Harbor the lead.
Kamiak went three-and-out, and three plays later on the first play of the second quarter, Hollins-Passmore ran 35 yards for another score.
The Knights again went three-and-out, and again the Wildcats quickly scored.
Helped by a 23-yard run by Hollins-Passmore and a 36-yard run by Hardin, Oak Harbor covered 64 yards in only four plays, the final a 3-yard TD run by Andrew Miller, setting the half-time score at 27-7.
Kamiak threatened in its next two possession by couldn’t convert. First, the Knights drove to the Oak Harbor 31 then went backward, thanks to four penalties and a sack, eventually facing a fourth-44.
Kamiak then stopped Oak Harbor on downs and drove 72 yards. Facing a fourth-and-goal from the 7, the Knights ran for only five yards.
Oak Harbor scored on its first three possessions of the second half. Hollins-Passmore ran in from the 5 and followed that with his halfback pass TD; then Hardin capped the scoring with a 47-yard run.
That gave Oak Harbor a 48-7 lead with 1:06 remaining in the third quarter and set the mercy run (40-point lead) into effect and the game was completed with a running clock.
Kamiak recovered a fumble at the Oak Harbor 15 with 8:25 left and scored on its first play for the game’s final points.
The Knights were led on offense by Ben Barton, who rushed for 98 yards on 18 carries. Quarterback Matt Merk completed seven of 19 passes for 52 yards.
Other than the beginning, Turner was happy with his team’s performance.
“We made a few corrections and kind of kept them under control after that,” he said.
He added that the offensive line was “pretty solid,” helping the Wildcats efficiently move the ball.
“Actually, we were pretty solid all over the place,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of superstars, just a lot of good players.”