WALDPORT — Sometimes the box score doesn’t tell the full story.
Do-it-all senior quarterback Zak Holsey racked up extremely impressive numbers on the scoresheet and scored all six of eighth-ranked Waldport High School’s touchdowns in the Irish’s convincing 42-26 non-league 1A-SD 1, 8-player victory Sept. 2 at home against Myrtle Point.
Though Holsey got a fair share of the glory, rushing for 311 yards as Waldport had its way with the Bobcat defense for much of the evening in both teams’ season opener, Irish head coach Jeff Skirvin said the one-sided win was a product of his entire 26-player roster.
“I feel like our defense played downhill all night, and I’m really pleased with that,” Skirvin said. “And then I really have to give kudos to our offensive line. We call those guys the mules. They’ve got that dirty, nasty job, and they never really get credit for it. But they deserve a shoutout for the job they did tonight.”
On game day, the Irish learned they were ranked eighth when the Oregon School Activities Association released its preseason 1A, 6-player statewide coaches poll. And though Skirvin said Waldport knew of its ranking when it hit the field, his team didn’t lose focus on the task at hand.
“We don’t listen to a whole to of that hoopla, right?” Skirvin said. “We just go out there and do what we do.”
Somewhat quietly, senior running back Levi Fruechte added 140 yards rushing for Waldport, which collected 515 yards of total offense. Fruechte was also Holsey’s best receiver, catching two passes for 26 of Holsey’s 54 passing yards.
Holsey ran rampant throughout the evening, lining up behind center and, more often than not, calling his own number for a running play. Excluding a pair of kneel-downs to run out the clock in the waning moments of the fourth quarter, the 5-foot-9 QB rushed 30 times for an average of just more than 10 yards per carry. Adding to his impressive night on the stats sheet, Holsey was tackled for a loss just once.
Holsey’s longest gallop of the evening, a 37-yard touchdown scamper, capped the Irish’s first possession — an 8-play, 96-yard drive that took just 3:44 off the clock.
Though the Bobcats needed just two plays, including a 36-yard scoring run by junior running back Troy Warner, to level the score by the end of the opening 12 minutes, Waldport took a 16-8 lead into halftime after an 11-play drive resulted in a 2-yard Holsey scoring run with 6:38 remaining the in the second quarter.
The Irish opened the second half with the ball, and Holsey quickly delivered a 13-yard scoring scamper. Although Myrtle Point rallied to within 32-20 on a Billy Reynolds 55-yard touchdown run with just less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter, Waldport’s offensive and defensive lines wore down the Bobcats in the final frame.
Irish junior defensive lineman Jake Turkaly all but sealed Waldport’s victory when he pounced on a Myrtle Point fumble on second and goal from Waldport 3-yard line with just 2:06 remaining.
“We have grit for sure, and we showed it tonight,” Skirvin said afterward. “We had a little bit of those beginning-of-the-season jitters. We came out a little rusty, a little jittery, but our guys stuck with it and they showed off that grit tonight.”
The Bobcats, who host 10th-ranked Bonanza this weekend, received a 111-yard rushing effort from Warner and a 55-yard touchdown run from Reynolds.
The Irish are scheduled to return to the field at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, when they travel to face unranked Gold Beach. The Panthers opened their season Thursday with a 50-6 win at Butte Valley, Calif.
Myrtle Point 8 0 14 6 — 26
Waldport 8 8 14 12 — 42
W — Zak Holsey 37 run (Holsey run), 5:11
MP — Troy Warner 21 run (Billy Reynolds run), 4:35
W — Holsey 2 run (Preston Segaline pass from Holsey), 6:38
W — Holsey 13 run (run failed), 10:47
MP — Warner 6 pass from Logan Backman (Andreas Villanueva pass from Backman), 6:08
W — Holsey 36 run (Levi Fruechte run), 4:08
MP — Reynolds 55 run (run failed), 3:55
W — Holsey 11 run (run failed), 10:01
W — Holsey 10 run (run failed), 4:10
MP — Villanueva 2 run (run failed), 0:58