PORT ANGELES — Behind some spectacular first-half plays by Daniel Cable and a swarming defense that caused four turnovers, the Port Angeles Roughriders won their fourth game of the season with a 27-7 shellacking of 3A Bainbridge at Civic Field on Friday night.
“Our defense played lights out,” said coach Dustin Clark. He said the difference in the second half was the Riders’ defense reading plays correctly and “filling their gaps.”
Cable played a part in touchdowns in four different ways, three of which were on explosive plays from beyond midfield. He got the Riders on the board two minutes into the game with a 65-yard punt return up the left sideline after faking a pitch to Brantyn Fisler.
Bainbridge came right back and had a long, 6-minute drive, grinding the ball up the middle all the way down to the 4-yard line. However, the Riders forced Bainbridge’s first turnover of the night, causing a fumble that Fisler recovered at the 4.
On the first play from scrimmage, Cable took a pitch from quarterback Parker Nickerson in the end zone. Wide receiver Beckett Jarnigan stood all alone at the 40-yard line and Cable lofted a perfect pass to him. Jarnigan raced down the field with defenders closing on him, managing to beat them to the end zone and completing an amazing 96-yard play.
“The cornerback bit on me,” Cable said. “I saw [Jarnigan] wide open and I had to hit him. I knew he was going to catch it.”
In the first seven minutes of the game, the Riders had run one play from scrimmage and possessed the ball a total of 26 seconds, yet were leading 14-0.
Cable scored his second touchdown of the game on a 10-yard run with 9 minutes left in the second quarter to make it 21-0.
After a score by Bainbridge to make it 21-7, the Riders got the ball back on their 46 with 3:30 left in the half after Landyn Jones sacked the Spartans’ quarterback on a 4th-and-11 play. On the first play of that drive, Nickerson hit Cable with a screen pass and Cable got good blocking as he took it 54 yards to the house for his third touchdown of the half to make it 27-7.
The second half turned into a defensive slog with neither team able to score. Bainbridge had some chances, but the Riders defense came up with big play after big play to snuff out the Spartans’ drives.
Fisler ended a Bainbridge second-half drive with an interception. Fisler had a fumble recovery, and interception and several huge hits on defense.
“This was his best game by far,” Clark said. “He brought it tonight.”
Fisler said the team kept the faith after Bainbridge had some long drives in the first half.
“I think we just trusted each other and stuck with each other,” Fisler said.
“I think we had a great week of practice. Our motto this week was ‘grit’,” said Jaziel Livingston, another busy player on defense.
Jason Hawes stopped another Spartan’s drive by causing a fumble on a handoff on a third-and-one play. Bainbridge recovered the ball, but lost 13 yards and had to punt. Lance Menes also had three quarterback sacks, all in the second half.
“[Menes] really stepped it up after the first half. We got on him a little,” Clark said.
Finally, midway through the fourth quarter, the Spartans drove inside the 5-yard line and the Riders forced another fumble and recovered at the 1 to end that threat. That was basically Bainbridge’s last chance to make it a game.