PORT ANGELES — Pressed into existence earlier this week in order to preserve its homecoming football game, Port Angeles’ clash with traditional state playoff power Kennedy Catholic was a chance to see big-time, private-school athletics up close.
But it was mainly self-inflicted mistakes, turnovers and penalties that did in the Roughriders in a 40-7 loss Friday night at Civic Field.
The Lancers, a Class 4A North Puget Sound League school, are in the habit of producing Division I athletes — Washington signed three Kennedy seniors, including heir apparent legacy quarterback Sam Huard, as part of its most recent recruiting class.
Kennedy (3-2) isn’t as stacked with college-bound talent as recent seasons, but the Lancers have a deep roster which allows them to play platoon football, with different offensive and defensive units.
Port Angeles, with a younger and smaller roster, including three sophomore starters along its offensive line, plays its best available 11 on either side of the ball.
With the entire first quarter spent on the Riders’ side of the 50-yard line, Kennedy took a 17-0 lead after one quarter.
The Lancers took advantage of an early Riders turnover on downs deep in Port Angeles territory and quickly went up 7-0 when Lamont Richardson scored on a 10-yard slant pass from freshman quarterback Devon Forehand.
Pinned deep by a mistake fielding the kickoff, the Riders were forced to punt and Richardson scored on another slant pass, this time from 45 yards out from Mason Hayes, for a 14-0 lead.
Port Angeles had a punt blocked near its goal line on its next possession, but the Riders held the Lancers in check, allowing a field goal.
Forehand went to freshman Nolan Cabatan-McWilliams for another score, a 45-yard slant pass, for a 24-0 halftime deficit.
The Riders committed three turnovers in the second half and all led to scores.
A bad snap was recovered on the Port Angeles 1-yard line and quickly punched in; quarterback Parker Nickerson was stripped and the ball returned 45 yards for a score by Zeke Taliauli and the Lancers trapped Nickerson for a safety to trigger the 40-point running clock.
The Riders did have some thrilling moments for the good-sized homecoming crowd.
Ty Bradow hauled in a 44-yard pass along the sideline from Nickerson before penalties derailed that first-half drive.
Jaziel Livingston was one of three Roughriders to sack Hayes and kill a Kennedy drive.
Brantyn Fisler recovered a Kennedy Catholic fumble and sophomore Kaleb Mullin had the defensive play of the evening late in the game.
Mullin stepped in front of a pass to the flat and rumbled 25 yards to set up the Riders inside the Lancers’ 20-yard line.
And Port Angeles avoided a second-straight shutout when Daniel Cable scored on a well-executed end around with less than two minutes to play.
The Riders (1-4, 0-2) visit Kingston on Friday.
Kennedy Catholic 40, Port Angeles 7
KC 17 7 16 0 — 40
PA 0 0 0 7 — 7
KC — Richardson 10 pass from Forehand (Gavino kick) 5:04
KC — Richardson 23 pass from Hayes (kick good) 3:38
KC — Gavino 20 field goal 0:15.5
KC — Cataban-McWilliams 45 pass from Forehand (kick good) 7:35
KC — Forehand 1 run (kick good) 0:10:0
KC — Z. Taliauli 45 fumble recovery (kick good)
KC — Safety (team)
PA — Cable 19 run (Long kick) 1:53
Passing — Kennedy Catholic: Forehand 8-13-0, 126 2 TDs; Hayes 11-14-0, 113, TD; Port Angeles: Nickerson 9-18-0, 81.
Rushing — Kennedy Catholic: Scott 7-27, Schell 5-20, Syph 1-6, Hayes 3-(-1), Forehand 2-(-7); Port Angeles: Livingston 5-22, Albaugh 2-17, Cable 7-17, Peterson 3-13, Robinson 1-4, Nickerson 9-(13).