The Nestucca Bobcats won their game against Portland Christian (PC) on Oct. 18 with a score of 55-13.
Head Coach Tim Foster said the game did not start out the way they wanted it to.
“For the first 15 minutes or so, we were just out of sorts,” Foster said. “We struggled to get blocks and move the ball, and we were a little slow in our defensive pursuit. It was a weird start.”
The Bobcats had three starters not playing, which threw them off, but Foster said they should have started better.
The game changed when Skyler Wallace blocked a punt and returned it 15 years for a touchdown early in the second quarter. PC scored a 70-yard run on their next offensive play, but the Bobcats started to exert themselves a little more.
The Bobcats next possession stalled, and PC intercepted a fourth down pass at their three-yard line, but Juan Ozuna and Wallace secured a safety on the next play, giving the team a 8-7 lead.
On the ensuing possession, the offensive line got much more physical and Ben Hurliman scored on a 15-yard run.
The Bobcats gave up one more score in the final minute of the quarter and led 15-13 at the half.
“In the second half, we got back to Nestucca football,” Foster said.
Hurliman scored on runs of 32, 2, and 12 to give the Bobcats a 36-13 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
“When Ben runs north and south and fights for extra yards, he’s one of the best backs in our league,” Foster said. “He did a great job attacking on Friday.”
PC struggled to move the ball in the second half as Nestucca’s defense played more aggressive, but they also had a couple of key players go out with injuries.
In the fourth quarter, the Bobcats continued to run the ball and Mitchell Richwine scored on a 14-yard run.
“It was good to see Mitchell on the field,” Foster said. “He missed the last several games to recover from a hamstring injury. We wanted to work him back in slowly and he gave us some good carries.”
Kaden Barham scored on a one yard run, and Wallace scored on a yard run to close out the scoring.
Hurliman led all rushers with 186 yards on 18 carries and had four touchdowns. Richwine had 69 yards on 15 carries, and Wallace had 56 yards on six carries. Overall, Nestucca rushed for 325 yards and seven touchdowns as a team.
The Bobcats play Knappa at home this Friday, Oct. 25.
“They are a good team,” Foster said. “We’ll need to have a good week of practice, but I think we are ready to take another step forward.”