Air power

OAK HARBOR – Talk about great expectations.

Marshall Lobbestael set a school record with six touchdown passes last week. How in the heck could he adequately follow up a performance like that?

Oh, he found a way – lots of ways.

Lobbestael continued his unbelievable hot streak by tossing five more TD passes – three to receiver Rodrick Rumble for the second straight game. That air attack led the undefeated Oak Harbor Wildcats to a dominating 34-14 victory over the previously unbeaten Snohomish Panthers Friday night in a Western Conference North Division football game at Oak Harbor Memorial Stadium.

Lobbestael had an incredible first half (7-for-10, 141 yards, three TDs) and finished 13-for-23 for 243 yards for first place Oak Harbor (3-0 Wesco North, 4-0 overall). He’s in a zone unlike any other prep QB that Dave Ward, Oak Harbor’s 16th-year head coach, has worked with.

“He’s the best passing quarterback I’ve seen in my 16 years,” Ward said of the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Lobbestael, who helped propel the state’s fourth-ranked Class 4A team (Associated Press) to another decisive victory – one that gives the Wildcats the inside track to a Wesco North championship.

“No. 1, he’s got some great receivers,” said Snohomish coach Mark Perry, whose team slipped to 3-1. “They have great speed, great height (and) great hands.”

Oak Harbor receivers actually dropped three Lobbestael passes, but they also hauled in some very tough catches amid several defenders. Rumble (five catches, 137 yards, three TDs) and tight end Jake Rouser (four catches, 70 yards, one TD) led the way.

Lobbestael connected with Rumble, a 6-3 junior, for two first-half TDs that helped Oak Harbor build a 21-7 lead. His scoring receptions went for 7, 78 and 43 yards, respectively.

“We got good rhythm right now,” Lobbestael said.

Lobbestael to Rumble suggests the kind of awe-inspiring rhythm that brings to mind other famous combinations, like Montana to Rice. Lobbestael’s quick decision-making and accuracy make it happen.

“Marshall does a good job of seeing the field. When you’re a three-year starter, you expect him to do that,” Perry said.

Snohomish pulled to within 14-7 when fullback Derek Jones ripped off a 57-yard touchdown burst with seven minutes, 25 seconds to go in the second quarter. The Panthers nearly tied it three minutes later, but an illegal chop block wiped out Terrance Marshall’s 54-yard run. One play later, Lobbestael hit Rumble in stride down the middle for a 78-yard TD that made it 21-7.

The chop block hurt Snohomish, but it could be even more costly to Oak Harbor, which lost star senior lineman Will Hunter to injury on the play. The 6-5, 310-pound Hunter, a supreme force on the field, hurt his knee and was on crutches the entire second half.

“We think we’ve lost him (for the season). He’s gonna (need) surgery,” Ward said.

The injury was a major disappointment on an otherwise spectacular night for Oak Harbor.

“We’re all praying that he’s all right,” Lobbestael said.

Other stars of the game included:

*Oak Harbor: Chris Valencia (16 carries, 115 yards), Hunter, tight end/defensive end Rouser (TD reception, key tackles) and defensive end Matt Davison (two sacks).

*Snohomish: Jones (85 yards on 14 attempts), Kyle Hurd (two sacks and a tackle-for-loss) and backup QB Brad Perry, who scored his first varsity touchdown on a 61-yard sprint around the right corner in the final minute.

For now, Snohomish has seen enough of Oak Harbor and the seemingly unstoppable Lobbestael. The Panthers are ready to move on from the defeat.

“We’re forgetting about it,” Mark Perry said.

At Oak Harbor


Oak Harbor714013-34

Oak Harbor-Thulin 14 pass from Lobbestael (Johnston kick)

Oak Harbor-Rumble 7 pass from Lobbestael (Johnston kick)

Snohomish-Jones 57 run (Wiseman kick)

Oak Harbor-Rumble 78 pass from Lobbestael (Johnston kick)

Oak Harbor-Rouser 20 pass from Lobbestael (Johnston kick)

Oak Harbor-Rumble 43 pass from Lobbestael (Johnston kick blocked)

Snohomish-Perry 61 run (Wiseman kick)

Records-Snohomish 3-1 division and overall. Oak Harbor 3-0, 4-0.

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