Gulls shut down Hyaks in showdown

OYEHUT — Their traditional big-play offense neutralized, Raymond’s Seagulls turned to a ball-control attack and a rugged defense to win a battle of state-ranked teams.

Limiting North Beach to 73 yards of total offense, 10th-rated Raymond pulled away in the second half for a 28-6 victory over the sixth-ranked Hyaks in a Pacific League football game Friday night at Lt. Jim Davis Field.

Alex Sida rushed for 149 yards and scored two touchdowns and Darol Ratsavongsy ran for 85 yards and the other two TDs as the Gulls improved to 2-0 in league and 4-1 overall.

North Beach (1-1, 4-1) executed at least part of its pre-game plan by controlling the ball for much of the first half and keeping the normally explosive Gulls from breaking big plays. Raymond’s longest official gain from scrimmage was 32 yards, although Sida had an apparent 90-yard touchdown run in the first quarter nullfied by a block-in-the-back penalty.

The Gulls did eventually establish an effective ground game, mostly on counters and traps. Raymond coach Rob Clements nevertheless gave most of the credit to his defense.

North Beach, which entered the game averaging more than 40 points per contest, did not make a first down in the second half. Seagull junior cornerback Marvin So had 10 tackles and an interception, while Rayce Newman and Neal Riley contributed eight stops apiece for the Gulls.

Clements said his defense may have been a bit too fired up at the outset.

“Once they settled down and went to their assignments, they shut them down,” the Raymond coach said. “The defense won the game for us.”

The Hyaks, who now operate their traditional double-wing offense out of a shotgun formation, were stymied by the absence of a passing game. The Hyaks had only one completion for positive yardage and were guilty of several dropped passes.

“Hats off to Raymond,” North Beach coach Todd Bridge said. “They did a good job of controlling the ball and a good job of mixing it up. What killed us was we couldn’t catch our passes. Our timing was off. If we can’t throw the ball, they can stack the box on us.”

North Beach actually had the greater scoring threats in the first 20 minutes. But the Hyaks lost the ball on downs on Raymond’s 6-yard line in the first quarter and So intercepted Pedro Gonzalez’s halfback pass in the end zone in the second period.

Hamstrung by penalties and a pair of fumbles early, the Gulls finally broke a scoreless tie by putting together a 69-yard scoring drive late in the first half. Newman completed two passes to So and a third to Hunter Borden to set up Ratsavongsy’s 4-yard power shot with 1:57 left prior to intermission.

Andres Martinez booted the first of four successful conversions for a 7-0 halftime lead.

Raymond had the better of field position and virtually everything else in the second half.

Following a short punt, the Gulls needed only four plays to cover 42 yards in the third quarter, with Ratsavongsy bursting over right guard for the final 14.

Newman’s 25-yard pass on the final play of the third quarter was deflected by a Hyak defender into the hands of Sida in the end zone.

Sida ran 7 yards for Raymond’s final TD with 3:57 remaining in the contest.

North Beach sophomore Saul Gonzalez spoiled the shutout by accelerating through an opening up the middle and returning the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown. The conversion pass failed.

Junior Caleb Bridge had an exceptional defensive game for the Hyaks. Coach Bridge also noted the defensive work of the Gonzalez brothers, Pedro and Saul, and Justin Chong.

The Gulls host rival South Bend on Friday, while North Beach faces another critical test at home against Willapa Valley.