By Mike Martin
The Wolverines pushed hard but ultimately lost to Highline, 19-6, last Friday, Oct. 5.
In most cases, a 2B team has no business being on the field with a school nearly twice their size. However, Friday Harbor Wolverines head coach Brock Hauck, in the middle of a remake of the storied football program, decided that traveling to the South Puget Sound League to play the Highline Pirates was a great way to measure his team’s progress.
The schedule was set up to test the mettle of the Wolverines but it didn’t account for the Seattle traffic snarl from a downpour and a 5 p.m. kick off. The Wolverines arrived shortly before kick off. However, On the rain-soaked Field Turf at Burien’s Highline Memorial Stadium, the Wolverines walked away with their heads held high.
Despite a size advantage, the Wolverines used their “pound-and-pound” defense to keep the Pirates at bay much of the night.
“The Pirates didn’t have a size-advantage of the heart,” says Friday Harbor Tiny Radio’s play-by-play and color analyst Kaila Olin. “The depth of the 2A school was apparent late in the game but these Wolverines will never quit.”
The Pirates scored first with 1:56 to go in the first on a TD run by Jakob F. Weets. The point after kick was good giving the Pirates a 7-0 lead.
“In weather conditions like that,” Olin says, “records don’t matter ball-security and execution does.”
The Wolverines and Pirates spent much of the night exchanging turnovers. What started out as downpour turned into terrible conditions on the field with standing water in many places. Due to the terrible field conditions, ball security issues plagued both teams. Jaden Jones passes fluttered short of his receivers as the Pirates picked off three of his passes. However, the caused numerous Pirate fumbles in throughout the game, as well.
Friday Harbor responded with 3:47 remaining in the first half on a touchdown run by Kyson Jackson. The 2-pt conversion failed and the Wolverines trailed the Pirates lead 7-6 going into the half.
The Pirates took a 13-6 lead after Ethan Weets picked off Jaydon Jones. The Pirates drove for another TD run by Stephon Faletogo with 4:30 to go in the third quarter.
The 2B Wolverines continued to play “Wolverines Football” against 2A Pirates. Late in the game, having played the field-position battle to near perfection, Friday Harbor had Highline pinned inside their own 5-yard line.
The Pirates’ Kelvin Adu appeared to be hemmed in his own end zone, cut back the width of the field and outran the Wolverines to the other end of the field to give the Pirates a 19-6 lead. The Wolverines blocked the extra point attempt.
“A safety would have cut the deficit to 13-8,” says Friday Harbor Tiny Radio’s color commentator John Volk. The Wolverines would have received the ball with a chance to take the lead and leave Highline with little time on the clock, he said.
The silver lining is that the Wolverines nonconference slate is over and Friday Harbor and now they can concentrate on picking on someone their own size in LaConner and Concrete. The team takes on La Conner at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12 at home.