BELLINGHAM — Shorthanded due to injury and commitments, Grays Harbor kept it close with Bellingham through three quarters before fatigue set in in this Pacific Football League contest on Saturday night.
Down by one at halftime, the Bearcats wore down in the second half as the Bulldogs scored late in the contest to turn a close game into a 42-20 victory at Civic Stadium in Bellingham.
“We’ll play them again and I don’t mind; I can’t wait to play them again,” Grays Harbor head coach Todd Hoiness said. “In the second half, we were gassed. We didn’t have any legs left, lots of guys were playing both ways. There were times we did things great and times when things were off.”
Quarterback David Evans threw for 192 yards on 13-of-28 attempts, two touchdowns and one interception, plus ran in another touchdown for the Bearcats. Nine of Evans’ completions went to wide receiver Chris Jackson for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
Running back Cameron Smith led the team with 76 yards on 16 carries against Bellingham’s pressure, blitzing defense.
The first of two scoring throws from Evans to Jackson was a 67-yard catch and run in the first quarter. The second was a 25-yard scoring pass late in the first half that set up a 21-20 halftime score.
Evans scored on a 1-yard sneak that tied the game at 14-14. Smith’s two-point conversion added to the scoring. The Bearcats missed two point-after kicks in the half.
In the second half, the Bulldogs controlled the game against the tiring Bearcats.
“Honestly, we just ran out of gas from a month of covering injuries and shortages,” Hoiness said. “In the second half, we looked gassed. The effort was awesome, as was the guys’ attention. With what they’ve done, I’m proud of them. We need the week off.”
Joel Brown led Grays Harbor (4-2, 5-2) with 15 total tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery. Kory McElravy added 12 tackles and the Bearcats welcomed back Elma-product Aaron Zepp to the linebacking corps for the game.
Hoiness cited cornerback/wide receiver Jeremy Walker and corner Tex Johnson for their full-game efforts. Both players played all 60 minutes, earning Hoiness’ praise for their performances.
The entire league has a bye week for Memorial Day weekend. Grays Harbor returns to action at home on June 1 against rival Southern Oregon Renegades.