The Grays Harbor Bearcats got down early and could not claw their way back into the game Saturday night. They lost to the Bellingham Bulldogs, 26-10, in a Pacific Football League game at Stewart Field in Aberdeen.
Bellingham started off quick, scoring touchdowns in each of its first three offensive possessions.
The first score for the Bulldogs was on a 38-yard run by Brett Hall, and the second was a 14-yard pass from Leon Lilley to Antoine Dudley. Then, with 7:59 left in the first quarter, Hall scored on a 3-yard plunge that was set up by a 52-yard reception by Toby Seim.
The Bearcats also struggled on the offensive side of the ball during that stretch. Each of the Bearcats’ first two offensive series resulted in a three-and-out. In fact, Grays Harbor only managed to score three points in the entire first half. Those three points came on a 48-yard field goal by Jadon Carossino.
“They ran a defense and a blitz package that they haven’t run all year,” said Bearcats head coach Todd Hoiness. “I watched all their games. They came out with something new to try to mess us up, and it did.”
Bearcats running back Jeff Gates, the league’s leading rusher, left the game as a precautionary measure due to a potential head injury that he sustained early in the first quarter. Grays Harbor’s backup running back Cameron Smith rushed for 110 yards on 19 carries in Gates’ absence.
“Cameron played well,” said Hoiness. “But it did mess up our rotation a bit as far as keeping guys fresh. Jeff has been our guy for a long time, and it has a mental affect on us.”
Bearcats quarterback David Evans was under constant pressure throughout the game, and struggled to throw the ball in the wet conditions. Evans threw four interceptions, including two in the red zone.
The Bearcats only touchdown came on a pass from Evans to Christopher Cook with 8:43 left in the third quarter. Cook caught the pass near the line of scrimmage, made a couple of nifty moves, and darted 24 yards for the score.
The Bulldogs other touchdown came late in the first half on a 32-yard pass from Lilly to Seim.
The loss puts the Bearcats in a three-way tie for first place in their division with the Bulldogs and the Yakima Mavericks, and could force Grays Harbor to play all of its playoff games on the road.
The Bearcats will host the Pierce County Bengals at 6 p.m. Saturday at Stewart Field.
Bell 19 7 0 0 – 26 GH 0 3 7 0 – 10
Passing Yards 129 152
Rushing Yards 86 144
Total Yards 215 296
Penalty Yards 124 95
Passing 7/28 7/19
Had Intercepted 4 0
Fumbles Lost 0 1
First Downs 12 15