Tough D not enough for OHHS

Oak Harbor's defense needed help from its offense in 13-9 loss.

“Tenacious defense kept Oak Harbor in the game during the Wildcats’ 13-9 loss to Edmonds-Woodway at Memorial Stadium on Friday night. Trouble was, Oak Harbor’s defense needed help from its offense and nine points wasn’t enough help.So even though Wildcat quarterback/linebacker Brent Lang, sporting a bandage to cover stitches in his right hand, snatched an interception and recorded 14 tackles, (10 unassisted) and defensive back Ryan Ford had seven tackles (five unassisted); and defensive end Scott Gentry caused and recovered a fumble while tackle Nick Champlin generally wreaked havoc in the trenches, the Wildcats only managed 175 yards total offense compared to the Warriors’ 399, and Oak Harbor fell to 0-2 in the Wesco 4A football league.The defense played well enough to win, Wildcat coach Dave Ward said after the game.Certainly Oak Harbor’s defense was tested – early, and all night.On the opening drive, Edmonds-Woodway took only six minutes and 48 seconds to score a touchdown, kick an extra point and take a 7-0 lead.The Wildcats responded with a 29-yard kickoff return from running back Tony Hall but then drew a 15-yard clipping penalty and had to punt away.The Warriors started marching again, led by half back Landon Hall who would end up carrying the ball 36 times for 204 yards.But as it would many times throughout the game, the Wildcat defenders stiffened. With Edmonds-Woodway knocking with a first down at Oak Harbor’s 16-yard line, the Wildcat defense started banging back, causing the Warriors to attempt a field goal that missed.For its part, Oak Harbor tried a tag-team approach in the backfield, alternating Brent Lang and Tom McMickle at quarterback and fullback, with generally good results.But the Wildcat passing game was ineffective. Lang, dinged on his throwing hand, threw four completions for 44 yards in 17 attempts while McMickle was 0-for-1 passing.Edmonds -Woodway on the other hand, hardly needed a passing game.We knew they had a running game and they stuck with it, Ward said.The Warriors also took the advantage on the line of scrimmage, standing up Wildcat linemen and getting a push consistently.We couldn’t stop them up the middle, said Wildcat defensive back Brian Lang, who on many occasions Friday night stopped the Warriors’ Hall when it seemed like no one could.Brian stood out, Ward said.Late in the second quarter, the Wildcats drove down to the Warriors’ five-yard line aided by a pair of long runs – 20 yards and 36 yards – from Hal. But the drive stalled and Oak Harbor had to settle for a field goal, and a 7-3 deficit.The tide almost turned minutes later when the Wildcats shut down the Warriors and Brent Lang intercepted a pass.But with a first down on the Warriors’ 20-yard line and 35 seconds left in the half, Lang was intercepted and the half ended at 7-3.Oak Harbor took a 9-7 lead with 1:55 left in the third quarter on an 11-yard keeper by quarterback McMickle, but missed the extra point attempt.By the fourth quarter, the cumulative battering from Edmonds-Woodway’s line and running back started to take its toll.The Warriors kept punching ahead for first downs, then took the lead with a six-yard touchdown run by Hall. The team then tried for a two-point conversion and failed.Down 13-9 with less four minutes in the game, the Wildcats struggled to stop Edmonds-Woodway and finally did with 55 seconds left on the clock.But it wasn’t enough time for the offense and the defense had already given all they had.Oak Harbor travels to Everett Stadium Friday for a 7 p.m. game against Cascade. “