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Bearcat rally thwarted by late Yakima field goal

Big defensive plays by Joel Brown weren’t quite enough to ensure a happy ending to the Grays Harbor Bearcats’ Pacific Football League opener.

A late field goal gave the Mavericks edge the Bearcats, 17-14, on a wet, cold night Saturday at Stewart Field.

In the third quarter, with the Bearcats trailing 14-2, Brown intercepted an Alex Mahre pass in the end zone and returned it to Grays Harbor’s 36-yard line. The Bearcat offense had gained just 66 yards prior to Brown’s pick, but the take-away quickly shifted the momentum in Grays Harbor’s favor.

“That’s what happens in football,” Grays Harbor head coach Todd Hoiness said. “It’s such an emotional game. You get a nice play and it gets everybody fired up and believing that you can make plays. It really keeps guys going. (Brown’s interception) had a huge effect. He’s a great player and it was a nice play.”

Brown led the team with 12 tackles, three for a loss. The linebacker also recorded a safety in the second quarter to account for Grays Harbor’s only first-half points.

On the ensuing possession, the Bearcats (0-1 in league play, 0-3 overall) were faced with a fourth down on the Mavericks’ 36 yard line, and needed eight yards to keep the drive alive. Leo Dickerson lofted a pass toward Derek Archer on the right side of the field. Archer leaped to pull down a contested catch for a 24-yard gain and a first down. A face mask penalty at the end of the play tacked on six more yards and advanced the ball to the 6-yard line.

On the next play, Cameron Smith took a sweep off the left side into the end zone for Grays Harbor’s first touchdown. The Bearcats were unable to convert the extra point due to a bad snap, but the score cut Yakima’s lead to 14-8.

On the first play from scrimmage of Yakima’s next possession, Brown planted Mavericks running back Trevon Harris in the backfield for a five-yard loss. Harris left the game with an injury and did not return.

The possession ended with a punt, which was shanked out of bounds by Josef Kistler to give the Bearcats good field position at their 45-yard line.

Grays Harbor’s offense carried the momentum created by its defense into its next possession as well. A 25-yard pass from Dickerson to Jeremy Walker got the Bearcats into the red zone. Two plays later, Dickerson found Loyal Linton wide open in the right side of the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown pass, which tied the game at 14-14 with 14:54 left.

Once again, a poor snap prevented the Bearcats from converting the extra point. However, an inadvertent whistle by an official gave the Bearcats another chance. They elected to go for a two-point conversion, which was also unsuccessful due to a poor snap.

According to Hoiness, the team is down to its fourth -tring long snapper due to injuries. The coach added that the conditions made it very difficult to handle the ball.

Still tied late in the fourth quarter, the Bearcats lined up to punt from their own 45-yard line. However, the snap was too low for punter Archer to handle. Yakima’s William Quinn pounced on the ball, giving the Mavericks excellent field position at Grays Harbor’s 37-yard line.

On the first play, Jeremy Franck burst through a wide-open gap and ran for 26 yards to the 11-yard line. Three more runs advanced the ball to the 5-yard line, then Mahre kicked a 21-yard field goal to give Yakima a 17-14 lead with just 1:39 left.

Following the ensuring kickoff, the Bearcats made it as far as the Mavericks’ 35-yard line. However, after a sack and a penalty pushed them back, they turned over the ball on downs at midfield, essentially ending the game.

Despite the loss, Hoiness was pleased with how his team played.

“Every rep that Leo (Dickerson) gets at quarterback helps since he’s new to the system,” Hoiness said. ”We’re getting better. There are some things that are going to take time. We definitely improved tonight. It was a great effort on both sides and a heck of a game. I think this puts us on track. I think we’ll get better every week.”

A 1-yard touchdown run by Jesse Cardenas capped off a nine-play, 63-yard opening drive by Yakima for the first points of the game. Yakima’s only other touchdown was a 3-yard pass from Mahre to Andrew Watson early in the third quarter.

The Bearcats (0-1, 0-3) will travel to Bellingham on Saturday to face the reigning PFL champion Bulldogs.

Yakima 7 0 7 3 - 17

Grays Harbor 0 2 6 6 - 14

Y GHC

First Downs 15 16

Net Rushing 198 62

Net Passing 59 159

Total Net Yardage 257 221

Passing 4-13 11-28

Had Intercepted 1 3

Fumbles Lost 0 1

Yards Penalized 86 90

 

Bearcats host Yakima Mavericks

The Grays Harbor Bearcats start regular season action against the Yakima Mavericks on Saturday night.  Mavericks have a new QB, and so do the Bearcats as Leo Dickerson will get the start.

Season tickets are still on sale via Young Life, Bearcats Cheerleaders or Bearcats Players, and are only $25 for 7 home games and any playoff games!! 

Gates open at 4pm, kickoff is at 6pm!

Players need to be there no later then 4pm, if you have equipment issues please take care of them before game day.  If you are going to arrive late please let us know. 

   

Bearcats thumped by Raiders

After a great start against a quality opponent, the final preseason football game quickly slipped out of the Grays Harbor Bearcats’ grasp.

Grays Harbor struggled to move the ball for much of the game, and could not find a way to stop Portland’s passing attack. The Raiders beat the Bearcats, 60-7, in an unusual, penalty-ridden game that featured three personal fouls, five unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and two ejections.

After Grays Harbor forced a three-and-out on the Raiders’ opening possession, Loyal Linton led the Bearcats’ offense down the field on its first series. Linton capped a 10-play, 74-yard drive by connecting with Derek Archer for a 40-yard touchdown pass with 7:19 left in the first quarter. The extra point by Max Mendez put the Bearcats up 7-0.

Archer led Grays Harbor with four receptions for 79 yards.

However, after the promising start, Grays Harbor’s offense managed just 34 yards in the remainder of the first half.

On the ensuing possession, Portland quarterback Russ Schneider hit Isaiah Smith in the middle of the field for a 15-yard pick up on third-and-ten. It was Schneider’s first completion of the game, but it certainly was not his last.

Portland scored three unanswered touchdowns before the first quarter came to a close. The first was an 8-yard pass from Schneider to Drew Dukeshire, followed by a pair of touchdowns (seven and 17 yards) from Schneider to Smith.

Smith proved to be Schneider’s favorite target, hauling in nine balls for 113 yards. Smith added a 16-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter and finished the game with three catches for scores.

Schneider completed 27 of his 51 pass attempts for 389 yards and passed for all eight of the Raider touchdowns in the game. Three of his TDs came in the final eight minutes of the game, when the outcome was not in question and the Bearcats were allowing their back-ups to get some snaps.

“(The Raiders) are going to be one of the top teams this year,” Grays Harbor head coach Todd Hoiness said. “(Schneider) is probably the best quarterback in the league. He’s a really good quarterback.”

Despite the lopsided loss, Hoiness was able to focus on some of the positive things that happened in the game.

“We actually improved on a lot of stuff from last week,” Hoiness said. “We wanted to win, but we still treated it like a preseason game. We tried out a lot of different stuff today. We improved on some things a ton from last week. We have some new players and we worked some guys in. Everybody played tonight. We’re a young team. We have a lot of opportunities to get better, and I think we will.”

The Bearcats have several new players that joined the team this week. One of them is former Seattle Stallions quarterback Leo Dickerson, who was described by Hoiness as “a proven quarterback” and threw six touchdown passes against the Bearcats last season. Hoiness added that Dickerson will likely take over under center for Grays Harbor soon.

Dickerson passed for 37 yards in limited action in Saturday night’s game. Perhaps more importantly, the exhibition game gave Dickerson a chance to familiarize himself with his new team’s offense as well as showcase his elusiveness and arm strength.

Bearcats Harry Peterson and Shane Dayton were both ejected in the fourth quarter. However, Hoiness believes that Dayton’s ejection was caused by a misunderstanding and the Bearcats intend to appeal it.

Portland’s kicker, Matt Evensen, put forth an impressive performance. In addition to converting all seven of his extra point attempts and forcing three touchbacks on kickoffs, Evensen connected on a 56-yard field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter. It was his only field goal attempt of the game.

The Bearcats (0-2) will kick off their Pacific Football League season on Saturday when they host the Yakima Mavericks.

Portland 21 14 0 25 – 60

Grays Harbor 7 0 0 0 - 7

Port – GH

Passing Yards 389 136

Rushing Yards 62 11

Total Yards 451 147

Penalty Yards 100 139

First Downs 25 7

Had Intercepted 1 0

Fumbles Lost 1 3

Passing 27-51 – 9-27

   

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