Solid defense late in the game and the powerful running of Jeff Gates carried the Grays Harbor Bearcats to a 41-27 come-from-behind victory over the visiting Clark County Vipers Saturday night at Stewart Field.
With 14:53 left in the fourth quarter, Gates plunged into the end zone from 4 yards out, giving the Bearcats their first lead of the game, 28-27.
Grays Harbor (2-1 overall) did not relinquish the lead after that.
The Bearcats’ defense held the pass happy Vipers offense to 27 yards on Clark County’s next two offensive series. That was all the Bearcats’ offense needed to put the game away. Gates broke through the line for a 56-yard run and punched it in from 1-yard out seven plays later with 2:42 left.
The Bearcats recovered a fumble by Vipers wide receiver Kai Woe on the next series. Gates then added the exclamation point by rushing four times for 46 yards — 26 of them on his final touchdown of the contest with 41 seconds left.
In the fourth quarter alone, Gates had 121 of his game-high 217 yards rushing and three of his five touchdowns.
The game could not have started much worse for the Bearcats. After receiving the opening kick-off, they committed three false start penalties, and moved a total of 20 yards backward on their first offensive series.
Later in the first quarter, Vipers quarterback Kyle English found Andrew Johnson for a 77-yard touchdown bomb. Then after a Bearcats three-and-out, English scored on an eight yard run, putting the Vipers up 14-0. Clark County then successfully recovered an onside kick, and English threw another touchdown pass to Johnson, this time from 14 yards out, that put the Vipers up 20-0.
After starting so poorly, Grays Harbor bounced back in a big way.
“The first thing we had to do was adjust to some of their blitzes and pressure,” Grays Harbor head coach Todd Hoiness said. “We had everything thrown at us tonight, except for the kitchen sink. Once we adjusted to some of that, the offensive line played amazing, and that allowed us to run the ball.”
The Bearcats did not turn the ball over in the game and forced three Viper turnovers.
“Zero turnovers; that was key,” said Hoiness. “When things weren’t going great and we were getting blitzed like crazy, (quarterback) David Evans kept his composure and he kept our offense composed. That was a huge factor in the game.”
The only Grays Harbor touchdown that was not scored by Gates was a 2-yard run by running back Cameron Smith. A 39-yard reception by wide receiver Daniel Hargrove set up the score. Hargrove led the Bearcats with five catches for 72 yards receiving.
On Saturday, Grays Harbor will hit the road for the first time this season to take on the Portland Raiders.
Thanks vipers for a Great game. Another mobile QB with a great passing attack. Thought we were in trouble early. thankfully this week we made the right adjustments and learned how to tackle. No turnovers helps too. Vipers are very tough, a very solid team the south is going to be a battle for #1 this year. 41-27 happened late it was 28-27 in 4th and we punched one in with about 3 minutes left in the 4th. Vipers were driving down to tie it up when a WR got the ball knocked out. even then they had us 3rd and short looking to get the ball back with the box loaded to stop Gates when he hit a good hole and broke like 30-40 yards for the final TD. This week the ball bounced our way and we came out on top. Great game
Last Edit: Apr 22, 2012 13:28:31 GMT -8 by bearcat58