A stifling defense and a relentless ground attack propelled the Oak Harbor High School football team to a 35-7 win at Stanwood Friday, Sept. 21.
The Wildcats are now 4-0 for the season and 2-0 in the Wesco North; Stanwood is 0-3 (0-2).
Oak Harbor has outscored its opponents on a average of 38-8 this season, but its schedule is about to get tougher.
The Wildcats host defending champion and perennial power Ferndale at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28. The following week they travel to Arlington.
Although Ferndale is only 1-3 this season, its losses have come to Lake Stevens, ranked fifth in the state 4A poll, Lynden, ranked third in the 2A poll, and Arlington, the Wesco North preseason favorite.
Arlington scored twice in the final five minutes to edge Ferndale 37-34 Friday.
Oak Harbor 35, Stanwood 7
Stanwood gained only three yards in its first possession, then Oak Harbor marched 53 yards, the final 17 on a TD run by Dorian Hardin, in six plays to take command from the get go. That pattern continued all night.
The Wildcat defense limited the Spartans to only eight yards rushing (on 15 tries) and 25 yards passing over the first three quarters.
Stanwood broke through against the Wildcat reserves for runs of 38, 32 and 13 yards late in game to finish with 89 yards on the ground to go along with 34 through the air.
Oak Harbor pounded away for 367 rushing yards behind its three-pronged rushing attack. Caden Leckelt ran for 112 yards on 23 carries, Hardin added 116 on 17 and Aaron Martinez 107 on 15.
Caleb Fitzgerald completed only one of six passes — his final attempt, which went 22 yards to Hardin for a touchdown.
Martinez and Leckelt ran for second-quarter touchdowns, and Hardin ran for another score in the third quarter before his TD reception in the fourth.
Jake Mitten kicked all five extra points.
On defense, Hardin picked up an interception and Ethan Pace recorded a sack and recovered a fumble.
Stanwood scored on a 38-yard run with 5:20 left in the game.