By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
EDMONDS — It’s been a tough week for the Oak Harbor football team, but Friday night when it came to playing between the lines the Wildcats were just fine.
Oak Harbor got two key interceptions in the fourth quarter and made just enough big plays on offense to beat Meadowdale 27-8 Friday night at Edmonds Stadium and earn the 3A District 1 No. 3 seed.
Playing with heavy hearts after the death of a classmate on Thursday and without star running back Sheyenne Sams, Oak Harbor rallied around each other and came away with a big win that gives the Wildcats their second home playoff game in three years.
“We just said all we can control is what’s going on out there on the football field,” said Oak Harbor head coach Jay Turner on his message to the team. “Our rallying cry was ‘Let’s get a home playoff game.’ They really took that to heart for themselves and the community.”
Oak Harbor hosts a quad-district playoff game against Kingco No. 2 seed Mt. Si next week. The Mavericks are the district No. 5 seed and will travel to face Timberline, the No. 1 seed from the Narrows League.
Clinging to a 13-8 lead, Oak Harbor sophomore Dyllan Harris intercepted a Meadowdale pass in Wildcats territory with just over 4:21 left in the game and returned it to the Oak Harbor 23-yard line. Three plays later Julian Faralan bust through the line for a 17-yard touchdown run to give the Wildcats a two-score lead. Faralan finished the game with 18 carries for 76 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
On Meadowdale’s next possession, Dejon Devroe intercepted a Mavericks pass along the sideline and set up another Wildcats score, this time courtesy freshman Princeton Lollar, who broke through the line for a 25-yard touchdown run that put the game out of reach.
Along with the big interceptions, Harris helped fill in for Sams, rushing for 36 yards on four carries and catching two passes for 70 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown in the first half that extended Oak Harbor’s lead to 13-2 just before halftime.
Oak Harbor will have to play next week without Sams, who Turner said is no longer on the team due to disciplinary action. In Sams’ stead, the quartet of Harris, Faralan, Devroe and Lollar finished with 279 yards on a stout Meadowdale defense.
Trailing 13-2, Meadowdale came out of halftime and forced a turnover on downs when the Wildcats went for it on 4th-and-1 at their own 29. Three plays later, Mavs quarterback Jeremiah Evans hit Malik Braxton on a screen pass the Meadowdale back did the rest, going 41 yards to the 1-yard line. Braxton punched it in from the 1 on the next play to draw the Mavs to within five points, but they wouldn’t get any closer.
At Edmonds Stadium
Oak Harbor 0 13 0 14 — 27
Meadowdale 0 2 6 0 — 8
M—Safety. Ball recovered in end zone.
OH—Julian Faralan 6 run (kick blocked)
OH—Dyllan Harris 48 pass from Clay Doughty (Johnston kick)
M—Malik Braxton 1 run (pass failed)
OH—Faralan 17 run (Johnston kick)
OH—Princeton Lollar 25 run (Johnston kick)
Records—Oak Harbor 4-1 league, 7-2 overall. Meadowdale 3-2, 5-4.